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SALENTO (SALENTU in the Salentino dialect ) is a geographic region at the southern end of the administrative region of Apulia in Southern Italy. It is a sub-peninsula of the Italian Peninsula
Peninsula
, sometimes described as the "heel" of the Italian "boot".

It encompasses the entire administrative area of the province of Lecce
Lecce
, a large part of the province of Brindisi
Brindisi
and part of that of Taranto .

The peninsula is also known as Terra d\' Otranto , and in the past Sallentina. In ancient times it was called variously Calabria
Calabria
or Messapia.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Cities and towns in Salento
Salento

* 2.1.1 Province of Lecce * 2.1.2 Province of Brindisi * 2.1.3 Province of Taranto

* 3 Language * 4 Transportation * 5 Coastal towers * 6 Gallery * 7 See also * 8 References

HISTORY

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MESSAPIA (from Greek Μεσσαπία) was the ancient name of a region of Italy largely corresponding to modern Salento. It was inhabited chiefly by the Messapii
Messapii
in classical times. Pokorny derives the toponym from the reconstructed PIE
PIE
*medhyo-, "middle" and PIE *ap-, "water " (Mess-apia, "amid waters"). Pokorny compares the toponym Messapia to another ancient Italic toponym, Salapia, "salt water", a city in Apulia .

GEOGRAPHY

Beach in Conca Specchiulla, north of Otranto . Otranto harbour. Santa Maria al Bagno
Santa Maria al Bagno
seaside. 16th century coastal tower of Salento
Salento
, in Roca Vecchia
Roca Vecchia
.

Salento
Salento
peninsula is composed of limestone , dividing the Adriatic Sea from the Ionian Sea . Known also as "peninsula salentina", from a geo-morphologic point of view it encompasses the land borders between Ionian and the Adriatic Seas, to the “Messapic threshold”, a depression that runs along the Taranto - Ostuni
Ostuni
line and separates it from the Murge .

Its borders are:

* Taranto , in the Province of Taranto * Pilone , in the territory of Ostuni
Ostuni
, in the Province of Brindisi * Santa Maria di Leuca , in the Province of Lecce .

CITIES AND TOWNS IN SALENTO

Province Of Lecce
Lecce

Acquarica del Capo , Alessano , Alezio , Alliste , Andrano , Aradeo , Arnesano , Bagnolo del Salento
Bagnolo del Salento
, Botrugno , Calimera , Campi Salentina , Cannole , Caprarica di Lecce , Carmiano , Carpignano Salentino , Casarano
Casarano
, Castri di Lecce , Castrignano de\' Greci , Castrignano del Capo , Castro , Cavallino , Collepasso , Copertino
Copertino
, Corigliano d\' Otranto , Corsano , Cursi , Cutrofiano , Diso , Gagliano del Capo
Gagliano del Capo
, Galatina
Galatina
, Galatone , Gallipoli , Giuggianello , Giurdignano , Guagnano , Lecce
Lecce
, Lequile , Leverano , Lizzanello , Maglie , Martano , Martignano , Matino , Melendugno , Melissano , Melpignano , Miggiano , Minervino di Lecce
Lecce
, Monteroni di Lecce
Lecce
, Montesano Salentino , Morciano di Leuca , Muro Leccese , Nardò , Neviano , Nociglia , Novoli , Ortelle , Otranto , Palmariggi , Parabita , Patù , Poggiardo , Porto Cesareo , Presicce , Racale , Ruffano , Salice Salentino , Salve , San Cassiano , San Cesario di Lecce
Lecce
, San Donato di Lecce
Lecce
, San Pietro in Lama , Sanarica , Sannicola , Santa Cesarea Terme , Scorrano , Seclì , Sogliano Cavour , Soleto , Specchia , Spongano , Squinzano , Sternatia , Supersano , Surano , Surbo , Taurisano , Taviano , Tiggiano , Trepuzzi , Tricase , Tuglie , Ugento , Uggiano la Chiesa , Veglie , Vernole , Zollino .

Province Of Brindisi
Brindisi

Brindisi
Brindisi
, Carovigno
Carovigno
, Cellino San Marco , Erchie , Francavilla Fontana , Latiano , Mesagne , Oria , San Donaci , San Michele Salentino
Salentino
, San Pancrazio Salentino , San Pietro Vernotico , San Vito dei Normanni , Torchiarolo , Torre Santa Susanna .

Province Of Taranto

Avetrana , Carosino , Faggiano , Fragagnano , Grottaglie , Leporano , Lizzano , Manduria , Maruggio , Monteiasi , Monteparano , Pulsano , Roccaforzata , San Giorgio Ionico , San Marzano di San Giuseppe , Sava , Torricella .

LANGUAGE

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Salento, from a cultural and linguistic point of view, does not include the city of Taranto, where the Tarantino dialect is spoken, nor the part of the province of Taranto to the west of the city (where Pugliese is the dialect generally spoken), nor the rest of the province of Brindisi
Brindisi
to north of Ostuni
Ostuni
(where the accent is influenced by the dialect of Bari).

To the south and east of the above areas, the Sicilian dialect of Salentino
Salentino
is spoken, as well as a Hellenic dialect known as Griko – a Greek variety.

TRANSPORTATION

The nearest international airports are those of Brindisi
Brindisi
and Bari (the latter is out of Salento
Salento
but not far).

A 2-lane freeway connects Salento
Salento
to Bari. The main railway line ends at Lecce
Lecce
. Other locations are served by regional railroads.

Leisure ports are those of: Taranto , Brindisi
Brindisi
, Campomarino di Maruggio's tourist and leisure Marina, Gallipoli , Santa Maria di Leuca , Otranto .

COASTAL TOWERS

Main article: Coastal towers in Salento

The coastal towers in Salento
Salento
are coastal watchtowers , as the peninsula's coast was long subject to maritime attacks. The first towers may have been Norman. The remaining historic towers are mostly from the 15th and 16th centuries. Many are now in ruins.

GALLERY

View of Torre Sant'Andrea, part of Melendugno 's "marina". Alimini Grande Lake, near Otranto.

SEE ALSO

* Grecìa Salentina * Salentino dialect * Lecce
Lecce
* Brindisi
Brindisi
* Gallipoli * Otranto

REFERENCES

Media related to Coastal towers in Apulia at Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons has media related to SALENTO .

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for SALENTO (ITALY) .

* ^ "The Towers Of Salento