This site is dedicated to Salento, the peninsula situated in the southern part of the region Apulia and part of the province Lecce. It is a declaration of affection for an area to which I, living abroad, belong. It is an act of admiration to the prosperity of its ancient culture and history, which makes the region a place full of tradition and pieces of art, however never appearing arrogant to its visitors. A landscape between two seas, the Adriatic and Ionic, defined by the cut between Orient and Occident and its contradictions in architecture, language and habits.
Various and colourful were the people coming from near and far, who came to invade and colonise. First, the Messapians might be mentioned, the Illyrian native inhabitants of Salento. Then the ancient Greeks, the Romans and the Byzantines, who populated the area desolated by war and emigration, sending colonies and monks. They brought new life to Salento, and their heritage lives up until today in the Dekatria Choria. The Normans, the Stauffan, Osmans and Saracens, the Anjou, Aragon and Savoy. A country gifted with a good climate, sun and light. Still, although having prosperous fields, olive trees, grapes, figs, grain, vegetables and fruit, people had to fight against famine because of a lack of water resulting in a poor harvest.
This site wants to give you some information on Salento using the language of pictures, and also by providing some additional information about the area, about its architecture, infrastructure, landscape, shapes, colours and people. I will not focus on historical and geographical facts, but on the visual aspect and its impact, wanting to inspire the reader of this site to visit the area. I have made the pictures myself during the past few years, they therefore reflect my personal view of the country. The photographs were taken by strolling through the country and its villages, they try to document everyday life taken through the lens of a non-professional photographer.
Η θέα στη θάλασσα or the gaze on the sea, through the eyes of a man living in the middle of Europe and thirsting for a Mediterranean way of life. A virtual journey through an Italian region, which doesn’t match the clichés people have in mind about Italy.
The gaze on the sea is a Greek one, as the historical, cultural, linguistic and human relation to Hellas (Ελλάς), the Greek world, is still prominent in Salento, as it is other parts of Southern Italy.