Grecìa Salentina (Salentinian Greece) is an area in the peninsula of Salento in southern Italy, near the town of Lecce which is inhabited by the Griko people, an ethnic Greek minority living in southern Italy who traditionally spoke a Greek Language dialect also called Griko.
The Union of the Towns of Grecìa Salentina (Unione dei Comuni della Grecìa Salentina) consists of eleven towns and forms part of the province of Lecce in the administrative area of Apulia (Puglia), and was founded by the Griko population in 1966. The purpose of this union was to promote the knowledge of Griko and preserve its culture, by organizing research at the university, teaching the language at schools and publishing books and poetry in the endangered dialect.
The following towns are members of the Union: Calimera, Martano, Castrignano dei Greci, Corigliano d'Otranto, Melpignano, Soleto, Sternatia, Zollino, Martignano, Carpignano Salentino and Cutrofiano. The towns of Carpignano Salentino and Cutrofiano joined the Union in 2007, though the inhabitants of these two towns have not spoken their original Greek dialect called griko for two centuries.
- Calimera 7,351 inhabitants
- Carpignano Salentino 3,868 inhabitants
- Castrignano de' Greci 4,164 inhabitants
- Corigliano d'Otranto 5,762 inhabitants
- Cutrofiano 9,250 inhabitants
- Martano 9,588 inhabitants
- Martignano 1,784 inhabitants
- Melpignano 2,234 inhabitants
- Soleto 5,551 inhabitants
- Sternatia 2,583 inhabitants
- Zollino 2,143 inhabitants
Total: 54,278 inhabitants
- PARDO-DE-SANTAYANA, MANUEL; Pieroni, Andrea; Puri, Rajindra K. (2010). Ethnobotany in the new Europe: people, health, and wild plant resources. Berghahn Books. pp. 173–174. ISBN 9781845454562. "ISBN 1-84545-456-1" "The ethnic Greek minorities living in southern Italy today exemplify the etablichment of independent and permenant colonial settlements of Greeks in history."
- Journalists in Europe (2001). Europ, Issues 101-106. Journalists in Europe. pp. 29–30. ISSN 0180-7897. OCLC 633918127. "Better organised, the population of Salento, near Lecce, founded in 1996 the Union of the municipalities of Grecia Salentina… The purpose of this union is to promote the knowledge of Griko and safe-guard its culture, by teaching the language at school, organizing research at the university, publishing books and poetry in the dialect."
- Lüdtke, Karen (2009). Dances with spiders: crisis, celebrity and celebration in southern Italy. Berghahn Books. p. 118. ISBN 9781845454456. "ISBN 1-84545-445-6" "The towns of the Grecia Salentina include: Calimera, Carpignano Salentino, Castrignano dei Greci, Corigliano d'Otranto, Cutrofiano, Martano, Martignano, Melpignano, Soleto, Sternatia and Zollino."
- "Grecia Salentina - L'Unione.". www.greciasalentina.org.org. Retrieved 2011-01-17. "La popolazione complessiva dell’Unione è di 54278 residenti così distribuiti (Dati Istat al 31° dicembre 2005. Comune Popolazione Calimera 7351 Carpignano Salentino 3868 Castrignano dei Greci 4164 Corigliano d'Otranto 5762 Cutrofiano 9250 Martano 9588 Martignano 1784 Melpignano 2234 Soleto 5551 Sternatia 2583 Zollino 2143 Totale 54278"