The name of this historic hilltop town recalls some of the earliest inhabitants of Puglia, the Messapi. Settlers in prehistoric times, the name Messapi means “between two seas” and this is in fact one of Ceglie Messapica’s many charms. Situated right in the heart of the countryside, it is almost exactly equidistant from both the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. Therefore, as the locals delight in telling you, you can pick which ever coast has the best wind when you want to go to the beach. Ceglie Messapica has a picturesque historical centre, built in the white stone typical of this area. But it is perhaps most well known for its excellent gastronomic tradition. The Gambero Rosso Guide – Italy’s equivalent of the Michelin ratings, highly recommends the gourmet restaurant “Cibus” and there are several other superb restaurants, as well as a selection of rustic “Osterias” serving delicious home-cooked food at very reasonable prices.
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As you walk the cobbled streets of Ceglie Messapica towards the central piazza, you might notice the sweet smell of Biscotti Cegliese coming from the local bakeries. These biscuits are very popular in the town and have been made for hundreds of years from ground almonds, citrus liqueur and home made jam.
A weekly market is held in Ceglie Messapica every Saturday during high season.
Visit the famous caves of Castellana and be "wow-ed" by the amazing caverns, fossils stalactites and stalagmites that have been around for hundreds of years
The Zoo Safari near Fasano is a real treat for all the family! Open from March to September, the zoo is home to over 50 species of animal and there are fantastic dolphin and penguin shows to catch!
Less than a 30 minute drive from Ceglie Messapica is the historical town of Grottaglie, famous for its locally crafted ceramics and pottery. The land surrounding the town has always been rich in red clay and the origins of pottery craft amongst local people dates back to the middle ages. You can visit the Museum of ceramics to learn about their traditional methods and even shop for your own piece of Italian dinnerware to take home with you.
Festa di San Gius...national event
At this patronal feast honoring St. Joseph, visitors gather in the evening around a large bonfire and sample local dishes such as tria and desserts. Events may include music, processions and more.
Good Fridaynational event
Easter Sundaynational event
Labour Daynational event
Liberation Daynational event
Festa Il Cavallo ...national event
Festa Il Cavallo Parato, Brindisi. This festival commemorates the Feast of Corpus Domini as well as the return of King Louis IX of France from the Crusades. A procession weaves its way through the town led by the bishop on a white stallion.
Bari Jazz Festivalnational event
The festival will be the stage for the greatest contemporary music trends, with a series of free concerts, held in spellbinding locations, steeped in art, nature and history. A rich line-up of front-rank artists and local talents, selected by an artistic committee of experts.
St John The Bapti...national event
Assumption of Marynational event
The weekend of August 14th/ 15h (Ferragosto) is a huge national bank holiday and many shops and services will be closed and restaurants will be very busy. Please be aware that traffic could be very heavy at this time.
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