The beauty of Melpignano, between Taranta and Greek culture
Melpignano is a small town with a lot of character, in the province of Lecce, Apulia.
It belongs to a Hellenophile linguistic enclave: the historical “Grecìa salentina” region where some people still speak “griko”, that is a “grecanic” dialect whose Paleo-Hellenic origin and structure are often debated by linguists. Suffice it to say that here “cardìa” means “heart”, and “I love” does not sound anything like the Italian “io amo”: it’s “agapò”, just like in Greek.
Melpignano is also one of the world’s summer music capitals (as appointed by popular magazine “DjMag”) thanks to the popular “Notte della Taranta”. Since 1998, this folk, itinerant festival dedicated to Salento’s music has held its final concert in the town every August, after fifteen days of rhythm and fun with accordions and tambourines. International artists take part in the event, which some have described as a “post-modern miracle” due to its success in merging Baroque and contemporary music, attracting hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Finally, Melpignano is part of the Associazione Borghi autentici d’Italia and Associazione Comuni Virtuosi. It is home to a church of San Giorgio with beautiful altars and Baroque portals, and to an Augustinian convent where the remains of a remarkable 17th-century cloister are kept…
Describing all there is in Melpignano in a few words would be impossible. We’ll let images do the talking, and hope you can soon visit the town to discover all it has to offer.
Photos via: ©Carmelo Raineri