It’s not easy to find a title that can draw your attention, because I don’t think to be good at listing our oil mill. Today I choose just five of them (later, we will talk about every of them), so as you can use this information in your next holiday in Salento.
I strongly believe that if you want to catch the essence of Salento, you have to experience our precious gold: the olive oil. Maybe it seems you quite exaggerated, but keep reading and tell me if I intrigue you or not…
Are you ready? Let’s start…
The underground city – Presicce
The tour in the underground oil mill in Presicce is an historical and cultural trip of the tradition of oil in Salento. Presicce is a real subterranean city that safeguard almost 23 underground oil mill, where olives were processed. They came from Gallipoli, that anciently was a european centre for processing the “olio lampante”, used for the lamp in great capital cities streets. Nowadays, just some of them can be visited, but you can call the proloco in Presicce for more information: some oil mill can be restored (so not accessible). So, it’s always better making a phone call:
ℹ️ IAT Specchia Piazza del Popolo, 8, 73040 Specchia LE, Italia
Lu caffa – Oil mill in Vernole
It is entirely dug in the rocks; it has intact presses and milestones. It is called “Lu Caffa” from the Genoese dialect and it means the market square where the main commercial exchanges happened. Later, also the subterranean oil mill built in 1500 was named “Lu Caffa”, since it represented the midpoint of economy and commerce. After the recent restoration, it preserves its charm and its nostalgic scent of rural traditions.
The mill can be visited inside; still today you can observe the 1500’s technique, ritmes and methodology of olive wood processing.
A local legend has it that the oil mill was inhabited by funny elves called Uri; at night they amused themselves by knotting the horses’ tails and… the guide will tell you the end of the story, surrounded by this fantastic “trappeto”.
ℹ️ IAT VERNOLE, Via A. Doria, 6 +390832892552
Gallipoli – Palazzo Granafei
For an period in history Gallipoli was “Caput Mundi”. The “Ionian Pearl” was considered one of the most important points of reference in Europe for the buying and selling of oil lamp.
There are two wonderful and interesting oil mills that obviously you must visit!
Let’s start from the one in Palazzo Granafei: it is an extraordinary location of 200 square meters entirely hand-dug in the local stone, the “carparo”; the restoration works allowed tools and settings to be safeguarded.
At that period, they were intended as olives deposit and shelter for workers and mules that moved the millstones.
Here some phone numbers for visiting Palazzo Granafei in Gallipoli:
ℹ️ Info frantoio di Palazzo Granafei
Via Antonietta de Pace 87 | Di fronte al Museo civico, 73014, Gallipoli, Italia
+39 0833 264242
Gallipoli – Il Frantoio dei Vicere
And slowly we get to Frantoio dei Vicerè: you go down the stairs and you come into another world… The rooms makes you realize how the work developed; the spaces are enriched vintage furnishing wisely preserved: lanterns, hooks, jars and pitchers for the oil conservation… and a series of milestone, of course.
Frantoio del Vicerè in Gallipoli:
ℹ️ Via Santa Maria, 9 Gallipoli 73014
0833 26 10 57
348 1336632 – 347 8220512
Morciano di Leuca
Last but not least, oil mills in Morciano di Leuca. There were more than 18 subterranean oil mills in this small town in the deep Salento. Some of them are dated in the 9th century and they still have their original architectonic structure; personally, I was impressed by the round huge closing stone sheets.
Morciano is a small village that has been granted for its increasing attention to the environment safeguard and green issues.
The municipality of Morciano received the “Menzione Compraverde”: this means that included in the best middle-small local administration for the clear and detailed commitments in the three-year action plan for eco-friendly purchases.
For more information about the oil mills and also the great cultural heritage in Morciano,
ℹ️ IAT MORCIANO please consult the website http://prolocotorrevado.it/iat/
address [email protected] mobile 340.5897632