Leverano is very close to Porto Cesareo, in fact only 9 kilometres separate it from the Ionian sea. Leverano was probably founded in 540 AD following the invasion and destruction perpetrated by the Ostrogoths led by Totila towards the inhabitants of the nearby hamlets of Torrocella and Sant’Angelo. They fled and took refuge in Leverano. Liberano in Greek means “wetland”. In the IX century, the Saracens attacked Leverano.
The feud of Leverano was of the Orsini del Balzo, Federico d’Aragona, the Castriota Scanderberg, the Francina Villant, the del Tufo, the Pinelli, the Squarciafico, and finally the Pignatelli di Belmonte; until Giuseppe Bonaparte, in the early 1800s, put an end to the subjection of feudalism.
Leverano is of considerable importance for its agricultural production of wine, oil and flowers. His “Vino Novello” and the Leverano Rosso D.O.C. and generally all its wine production is of high quality. These wines are sold today in most European markets.
The historic center of Leverano has remained intact from its origins, well preserved, a single grouping of houses surrounded by narrow streets and small paved squares. In the urban centre, the high Tower built by Frederick II of Swabia dominates the town. The tower is about 30 meters high and has a square base. The tower had 4 floors, but the various wooden levels collapsed, the only part that still holds is the stupendous ogival roof, with ornaments, corbels and decorated capitals. The moat of the walls no longer exists.
However, that is not all. Behind this claim, there is a very long story, because it is a land that has always been manned and coveted, ours, a land of conquest and that leaves its mark.
The heel of Italy rises triumphantly between the two beautiful seas that bathe the coasts, the Ionian and the Adriatic. It is a territory that has to be travelled, it must be discovered, it must be lived constantly, to enjoy its traditions, its music, its flavours, its fragrances, its characteristics.
Ferrous land, host of ancient olive trees.
Fire, the glowing sun.
Aria, the mistral wind, scirocco and tramontana.
This is how Salento is described by those who talk about it, those who have visited its beautiful sandy beaches or the sheer cliffs in a crystal clear sea.
Nevertheless, Salento is also culture, food and wine, Baroque, sumptuous and ancient buildings, it is fun and at the same time relaxation, it is nightlife, but also detachment from everyday life, it is contemplation, it is the possibility of remaining with oneself and yet never alone.
If you know it or live it, it is useless to talk about it.
Cover photo: Sergio Limongelli. Text and photo gallery Leverano: SalentoViaggi.it. Photo Gallery Salento: Salento.it.