Salento Gallipoli Lecce oil lamps
Antonio Bruno *
Gallipoli, the pearl of the Ionian Sea, at the bottom of the boot heel of Italy. A city that Pliny refers to as Anxa. The same Pliny writes that at the time of the Greeks the city was called Callipoli which means "City Beautiful".
An island, and then, with time, the space cramped, undertakes to build on the cape and with a bridge connecting the island in 1603. Today this is the Salento Gallipoli Lecce.
Agriculture Gallipoli until 1200
Agriculture was the main economy of Salento in Lecce. At Gallipoli in 1200 were flat, fertile lands and greenhouses rock! Here is the cultivation of the vine, but also the olive but only to the best land. And in the barren areas of the greenhouses? How do you know what are the greenhouses? But no! That environment is not specifically designed to cultivate flowers and plants with the same characteristics as their natural habitat. There was this at Gallipoli in 1200. In Salento Lecce there are mountains and we have called "greenhouses" small hills that reach up to 200 meters above sea level which is the realm of the Mediterranean and calcareous rocks. The greenhouses have been the last resort, hard to put under cultivation. That is why at Gallipoli in 1200 in addition to the greenhouses on the Mediterranean was, perhaps, some wood.
Frederick II of Swabia and Gallipoli
Bartolomeo Ravenna writes that Frederick II of Swabia meant gratitude for loyalty and dedication to Gallipoli, and that's why he sent from Palermo a diploma, which granted various privileges and between the city of Gallipoli remains enabled care of flax in the stagnation that Fogg them, should not be underestimated this important privilege, because in 1200 the territory of the Gallipoli flax seed (not oil) was a major source of income.
The stone clearance of the Mediterranean maquis in 1500 and 1600
In the greenhouses were a few inches of soil between the rocky outcrops known chiancareddhe (which in the Salento dialect means small polished slabs of limestone). The man began his work of planting and these lands were freed from the stain. For the rock outcropping was provided to take them off with blows of a pickaxe.
There were the stones that were used in the construction of stone walls that served to define the property or to realize furnieddhi which are indicated in the Salento dialect shelters made of stones skillfully placed to tell dry by experienced teachers.
There is a document of 1576, kept at Gallipoli, which is described later in this century and where some of those lands were put under cultivation. The work of removing stones man continued in later centuries and lasted for a long time.
These were all grazing land and had a lot of rock outcrop, and that's why we planted olive trees, the only trees that could grow in a layer of soil so superficial.
The demand for oil for the light of 1700
But because olive trees are cultivated in the land less fertile? The reason lies in the fact that the olive tree in the early 1600s gave him a good income, more than had been in earlier times. Was extracted from olive oil that was used for illumination and for the production of soap in all European countries.
Oil at the international level, there was a lot but the best of all was to Gallipoli. This oil was very fat and heavy that allowed him to be used in many different circumstances and for nearly all purposes. The development and wealth came immediately so that in few decades, the small port of Gallipoli was literally occupied simultaneously by up to seventy European sailing ships stopped them to take on board the precious cargo of oil.
It was really rich for a century Salento Lecce to the eighteenth century because the owners of olive groves and traders of oil Gallipoli saw a huge amount of money flowing into their coffers!
It 's easy to understand what happened. All land, including the most fertile, so rich market quickly became olive groves, and here we explain the existence of the forest of olive trees in the Salento.
But the olives to be processed into oil they needed to be pressed and for this reason that the town of Gallipoli and the surrounding area multiplied by the extraction of the oil mills (Underground oil mills).
The Underground oil mills of Gallipoli
The old underground oil mills of Gallipoli, entirely excavated in the hard carparo extend underground because the processing of olives and olive oil production was in need of a high temperature remains constant. In fact, there was approximately 18-20 degrees because the oil is fluid enough to flow during pressing.
There was no light on this ground there was neither day nor night, only the light of candles and torches. The heat of combustion, the bodies of men working in those caves and the hard effort of the animals was joined to the fermentation of olives, all resulted in a great heat that remained imprisoned by walls of rock. Warm while working out was the cold of winter, and the fact the mill entrance facing south from the entrance to the sheltered north wind.
Pliny, Naturalis Historia
Bartolomeo Ravenna, Memoirs Istoriche
Peter Maisen, Gallipoli and its surroundings. Tip. Hall, 1870 - 324 pages
Benemeglio Augustus, Frederick II and George from Gallipoli
Emilio Panarese, Gallipoli, European port of the oil. In "time of day," I, (22) 18/12/1974