masseria - Terre di Corillo
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origins & heritage

Situated in the heart of Salento, between Nardò and Galatone, in the province of Lecce, the geography of the place and the sedimentation of the land are evidence of its ancient history. The name Corillo derives, in fact, from Chorion, the Byzantine term for a rural settlement.

Over the ages, an architectural overlay of different styles tracing back to the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and even earlier periods, in an exuberant and powerful natural setting and a landscape that is at times impenetrable, have created a uniquely appealing tradition of habitation.

Meanwhile, lu jentu (the wind) carries the scents of the Mediterranean scrub, filling the air with the wholesome effects that have been known since antiquity. To restore the natural balance, some 16 thousand trees have been planted and forty hectares of Mediterranean scrub have been restored to the land.

Since 1996 a series of reclaiming and rebuilding works have been carried out in the Terre di Corillo area, extending over one hundred hectares, surrounded by dry-stone walls built by hand like in the old days. This meticulous and philological work transformed an abandoned site into a life-giving oasis, at the heart of which stands the ancient Masseria. From here a number of roads lead to various buildings and housing units, restored to their ancient beauty through refurbishing and restoration works geared to reconcile them with the present while respecting the past.

Some examples are the 18th-Century church dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo, or the evocative dovecote with the ancient circular bath where the doves drank, the focal point of an intriguing secret garden. Around, fields of crops and orchards blend with aromatic herbs and centuries-old trees that grow spontaneously everywhere.

The Masseria itself is a fine example of conscientious, sustainable recovery, in harmony with nature and the landscape, interpreting the signs of time and the traces of human presence. The whole place is characterised by authenticity, at the centre of an ethical and cultural project that aims to preserve and hand down to future generations a priceless heritage of skills and traditions.