Specchia is a smallApulian towna in the province of Lecce, located right in the heart of Salento and part of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Half way between the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea, the area of Specchia is characterized by the presence of many “pajare”, typical rural buildings part of the local culture.
Its name derives from the Latin word “Specula”, which means place artificially raised.
Specchia comes from “specchie” or glass, cone-shaped piles of stone that the Messapies used as a lookout point and defense, or as a system of territorial demarcation, that probably favored the evolution of the first settlement of farmers and shepherds who gave birth to the town, dating back approximately to the ninth century BC.
What to see
Despite its small size, Specchia offers tourists, attractions and monuments of outstanding beauty. Among the religious buildings we find, the Church della Presentazione della Beata Vergine Maria, whose original structure dates back to the fifteenth century, but has been submitted to several interventions that have enriched and improved certain areas such as the apse in typical local stone, the side aisles and the bell tower.
The Church dell’Assunta in a typical seventeenth century style located right near Porta Lecce, instead the Church of La Madonna del Passo has Byzantine origins, the main altar in a typical late Renaissance style decorated with a painting of “La Madonna con Bambino” (The Madonna with Child) with hypogeum walls that still bear traces of ancient and precious frescoes.
Among the main examples of civil architecture in the historic center there’s the sixteenth century Risolo Palace, the Ripa Palace, of the seventeenth century, and the Teotino Palace, with typical nineteenth-century restored details.
For those that reach Specchia, it’s mandatory to visit the oil mills (Frantoi Ipogei), the most important and obvious evidence of industrial architecture and social-economical life in Salento dated the fifteenth and nineteenth century, built below the sea level.
From a naturalistic point of view, finally, there is the Serra Mangione, almost entirely planted with olive trees.
Events• February 2nd - Feast of Candlemas
• 2nd Sunday of May - Feast and Fair of Candlemas
• September 8th - Fair of the Madonna del Passo
• December 24th - Fair of the Pittule with bonfires