The Grotto of Poesia, a book set in stone
In his “Les ombres errantes”, French author Pascal Quignard pinpoints the two most important inventions in human history: “Grottoes in the mountains, and books in language.”
Salento has a place where these two elements seem to merge: the Grotto of Small Poesia in Roca Vecchia – a coastal town in the province of Lecce – features numerous symbols, signs and votive inscriptions left on its walls like traces from cultures from the past – Messapic, Greek and Latin people who used the cave for their worship rituals between the 2nd millennium and the 2nd century BC.
The grotto is adjoined to the Grotto of Large Poesia – also named after the Medieval, Neo-Greek dialect word “posia”, meaning “freshwater spring” – and its fascinating karstic stone is part of a complex system of galleries and elliptical caves created millions of years ago. Today, it attracts tourists from all over the world, with the same beauty and allure it had for people through the ages.