Monteruga, the ghost town in salento.
It’s morning with a quiet Ionio sea, cool climate, me and a guest decide to visit a strange place: Monteruga. A cup of typical sandwiches made with a cazzata bread, mayo and tomatoes and another made with cazzata bread and cime di rapa and we are ready to discover Monteruga, abandoned place near Veglie. We don’t know others information but it’s time to leave.
The appointment is at Passeggiata of Capilungo. Rural and eco-compatible route near the rocks. Some people are walking through the 1800 mt. Not bath today, only hopeful fishermen that are betting in good day. 1 km from the Passeggiata of Capilungo a very suggestive place: I “diauoli” (the Evil place) remember us when these rocks meet the history with Pirro King (306-300 b.C.) or during the two Big Wars. Rather we can see some recent defence points made with bricks.
Torre Suda, a big tower presents on a beautiful corner. The sand on the bottom shows us an incredible water colour.
Mancaversa introduces us the Lido Pizzo Park. Lido Pizzo Tower is not visible from the main street but the view from the tower should incredible: all around thousand of metres of Mediterranean plants: rosemary, oregano, wild olive trees and many others.
A quick view in Gallipoli. At the end of the main street, heart of the shopping and stage of week end, the parking of the port gives us an idea about Gallipoli Old. From the parking, we understand why is named pearl of the Ionian sea. If we observe the city planning, Gallipoli old is like an oyster in its fortified walls.
After Gallipoli, Rivabella known also for its beautiful beaches, another fortified tower with a square plant.
In Santa Caterina, faced on the Ionian Sea a lot of small restaurants. We thought that should be so tasty understand something about the fish traditions. This part of Apulian sub-region with mainly a farmer kitchen tradition could give some good examples about fisher history. Or better should be so interesting spend a morning in a true and real fisher boat. Pescaturismo actually is so cool if it not declined in a fashion party. True also that should be so cool second tour for other reasons!!!
On the Ionian cost, other towers during our journey through Monteruga. Torre S. Maria dell’Alto, Torre Uluzzo, Torre Inserraglio, Torre San Isidoro, Torre Squillace.
Arrived in Porto Cesareo, it’s time to leave the cost and go in direction Veglie, where is our destination Monteruga.
Unforgivable landscape. Vineyards all around. Professional vineyards, very clean and ordered. Others for sure for private use and consume. It is not the best moment to observe vineyards. It’s January all the leafs are gone, there are not grapes but for a wine lover it’s like to touch a small paradise made by human work.
Arrived in Monteruga we feel like two ghosts in a ghost city. Only some minutes to understand how we should start to visit this place and why we are there. At the beginning we don’t know nothing about the area. Camera, a bottle of water and we are in main square. If front an open Church, all around abandoned houses. All the roofs are incredible damaged and a lot of signals advise the visitors to pay attention.
Monteruga is not very old, it’s not a prehistoric situation to understand. An industrial construction, after that another building suggests us that there were a country economic system with a big industrial scale.
Resuming about Monteruga
City Planning: Rural Village with fascist track
Edification Period: 1930 ca.
Ababdoned Period: 80’s
Abandoned Reason: Decrease first function
Our tour is a silent tour through a lost private life: social and political.
Here there was people untill 80s. A Fascist organisation for about 800 person arrived from the South.
Reclaimed the lands, 800 person was part of the city with schools, houses, frantoi, the Sant’Antonio Abate Church, barracks, boules court, tobacco deposit, wine cellar, etc.
Leaving Monteruga we start to read some about Monteruga History and it is hard today play to be an
anthropologist and try to visualize how was a normal Sunday.
The privatization of lands and the economic power of neiborg countries have been the two principal factors of Monteruga’s decline.
Our tour is finish, with us as gift, the religious silence deconsecration of San Antonio Abate Church.