Hypogeum

For many years I was hidden from the road surface it was something that enabled the preservation for centuries, of what transformed one of the most important products of our land, olives to liquid, silky and valuable form: Oil...

I am one of the most fascinating and best conserved oil mills of my kind, proof of an underground Specchia,(town in Puglia), an oil based economy of a generous land, Salento, that has always made big sacrifices in exchange for its generosity...

My entrance is the same level as outside ground level. After a first wide room with a barrel vault, you then enter the hypogeum through a narrow staircase. Visible, in the hypogeum, are the remains of grinders, pressers from Genova with their oil containers and the sciave for the storage of oil.

My entrance is the same level as road surface. A wide staircase covered by a typical barrel vault ceiling leads to the hypogeum, where, you can admire three Calabrian pressers and various areas destined for the storage of olives and an area for the relax of workers, trappitari.

In the 19th century, Cosimo De Giorgi, travelling through the province of Lecce made note of me in his Travel Images bringing to notice the modernization I sustained over the years. Giacomo Arditi instead thought I was a “grancìa” of the Carmelitan Convent...

The supply of water has always come from wells, that draw water from natural underground aquifers, that form near impermeable layers. Rain water slowly corrodes calcareous rocks, on the outer surface as well as by seeping through the reticles, resulting over thousands of years...

In a hot summer, in 1955, while normal readjustment works were being done in Vico Bianco, I took the advantage to show myself to the modern public, and became centre of discussion in April 1957, when researchers declared that I was among the most interesting Basilian crypts of the province...

Like other places of hypogeum cult being on the Salentino territory, my building is also inserted in the complex system of rupestrian homes that is part of the wide context of rural medieval settlements.I am very close to the Cito square...

I am found on one of the slopes of the Serra of Supersano, currently inside the municipal cemetery. Like other rupestrian churchs, I was carved into the limestone of Salento and over the centuries, the nude walls were painted with murals.The most ancient pictorial cycle that I keep was made...

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