Calimera is a small town in Puglia in the province of Lecce, from which it’s distant only 16 km, completely surrounded by the best known Grecia Salentina, an area ellenofona, with anoriginal language calledgriko.
The origins of Calimera are uncertain: the presence in the countryside of important discoveries, such as the Dolmen Placa and the Specchia dei Mori ( Mirror of the Moors), leads us to believe that the territory was already inhabited in the Bronze Age, although the modern urban center is probably a development of a settlement that took place around the eleventh century. Its name probably derives from the greek Καλημέρα, which means good morning or another hypothesis which means nice day.
Formerly known as an area of coal production, today Calimera is known for its cultural activities or other related services.
What to seeThe great cultural vitality that distinguishes the town of Calimera is undoubtedly the remarkable presence of many artistic and architectural elements.
The Chiesa Madre is dedicated to San Brizio, protector of Calimera, and was built in 1689 on the ruins of an ancient temple. Of particular beauty are the baroque portal and, inside, the nine altars surmounted by paintings of considerable value, including those of the Madonna della Misericordia.
Inside the Church of La Madonna di Costantinopoli, already built in the sixteenth century, there is a precious fresco of the Virgin , a painting that witnesses the coexistence of the Greek and Latin ritual. Finally, deep in the countryside,we find the Chiesa of San Vito dating back to the year ‘500. According to the tradition of Easter Monday, people pass through the middle of a pre-Christian limestone megalith with in order to purify themselves. This ritual goes back to the rituals of fertility. The stone, at the top, has remains of the fresco depicting San Vito Martyr.
Particular are also the town's public gardens, that holds among other things a marble stone of the fourth century BC donated by the city of Athens in 1960, and several busts.
Finally, on the outskirts of town, many vestiges of the past, including the Dolmen Sepulchral Monuments made of slabs tapped into the ground and topped by slabs of a larger size .