Tricase is a town made of buff coloured stone that is illuminated at sunset and its heart is Piazza Pisanelli, in the historic center, with old buildings looking onto the square: Palazzo Gallone, Gallone Princes’ Palace , which is now the seat of the Town Hall; the Cathedral, dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Church of Saint Domenico. And , if the town owes its name to the union of three hamlets in 1030, the real protagonist of his village is the Baroque.
A Baroque which is unique, as it is strangely gentle, discreet, never fulsome. As the one you can see in the Church of Saint Domenico, bright thanks to its thirteen lyre shaped windows, where the altars are embellished with tapered columns with exquisite capitals and delicate gilded stuccos. In the Cathedral, remarkable is the altar of the left transept with the sixteenth century painting of the “Virgin and Child with Saints Matthew and Francesco da Paola” attributed to Veronese, and the painting of “The Virgin in Glory with Saints” by Paolo Finoglio in the apse.
Palazzo Gallone stands majestic on the square. Built in the fifteenth century it looks austere, severe, but a portal adorned with decorations carved in stone softens its appearance to a degree. Inside, on the main floor, the Throne Room that with its portals, vaults, crests, decorations and fireplaces, recalls the splendor of the rich furnishings now long disappeared.
In the surroundings of Tricase, two not- to- be -missed stops: the Castle of Caprarica, with its massive structure only lightened by the lace of the small brackets supporting the upper frame of the walls, reinforced at the corners by round towers with an escarpment base that clearly emphasizes its imposing magnificence over the village. The construction of the castle was probably a consequence of the fear remaining in the area after the sack of Otranto by the Turks in 1480. Once surrounded by a moat, the castle has a squared plan area, with walls which are from six to seven meters high and almost a meter and a half thick , while the austere portal is defended by a triple storm drain. Enjoy a visit to the small village of Caprarica at night, when the castle, cleverly lit, provides for a magical ambiance.
The second stop we suggest is a green island bordered on both sides by the road leading to Tricase Porto. Here there is a tree dating to the twelfth century, belonging to the species Valonia, now a rare type of oak that was once widespread in the province of Lecce. Its fruit, in fact, used for the tanning of leather, in 1800 was exported across Europe. For its remarkable dimensions, this specimen is rightly considered a monumental tree: 705 square feet of canopy and a trunk of 4.25 meters in circumference.
The sea is close and you can enjoy a swim in the season or a good lunch with fresh fish from Anime Sante (lungomare Cristoforo Colombo 147 – Tricase Porto – +39 775 213 0833), a family-run trattoria which bases its menu on the catch of the day. And even where Arturo was a welcomed guest!
(Traduzione di Monia Saponaro)