Ceglie Messapica

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Ceglie Messapica
Comune di Ceglie Messapica
Coat of arms of Ceglie Messapica
Coat of arms
Ceglie Messapica is located in Italy
Ceglie Messapica
Ceglie Messapica
Location of Ceglie Messapica in Italy
Coordinates: 40°39′N 17°30′E / 40.650°N 17.500°E / 40.650; 17.500
Country Italy
Region  Apulia
Province Brindisi (BR)
 • Mayor Luigi Caroli (since April 11, 2010)
 • Total 130 km2 (50 sq mi)
Elevation 302 m (991 ft)
Population (31 December 2015)
 • Total 20,269
 • Density 160/km2 (400/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Cegliesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 72013
Dialing code 0831
Patron saint Anthony of Padua, St. Anne and St. Roch
Saint day 13 June, 26 July and 16 August
Website Official website

Ceglie Messapica (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtʃɛʎʎe mesˈsaːpika]; Salentino: Cégghie) is a town and comune located in the province of Brindisi and region of Apulia, in southern Italy, in the traditional area called Salento.


The area of Ceglie Messapica is located between the Murge and the Upper Salento: its typical elements include trulli, farms, lamie (typical southern single room square dwellings), rupestrian churches, carsic caves, dolinas, specchie and paretoni (remains of city walls), dry-stone walls, olive groves, vineyards, maquis shrub, ancient oak trees, cattle pastures and arable land.


According to legend, it was founded by the Pelasgi, to whom belonged the megalithic structures known as specchie. After the arrival of Greek colonists around 700 BC, it received the name of Kailìa (Greek: Καιλία; Latin: Caelia). Nearby the village were extraurban sanctuaries dedicated to the God Apollo (near the modern church of San Rocco) and Venus (on the Montevicoli hill).

The city was the military capital of the Messapi (the civil capital being located in the nearby Oria), and fought against the Greek city Taranto in the latter's attempt to gain a passage to the Adriatic Sea. The Messapic Ceglie had some 40,000 inhabitants. In Roman times it was already decaying, and in the Middle Ages was a small village known as Celie de Galdo, with a little castle. After several minor families, in 1584 its fief was given to the Sanseverino family, who enlarged the castle and founded two convents for the Capuchines (now disappeared) and for the Dominicans.

Main sights[edit]

Numerous archaeological remains of the ancient Messapi civilization were found in Ceglie's area. It had four lines of walls, the inner one having a perimeter of 5 kilometres (3 mi). The external one had high fortifications known as specchie, which could be up to 20 metres (66 ft) and 60 metres (200 ft) in diameter.


Procession of Saint Antony in Ceglie Messapica



External links[edit]