Geography and local history
Giuggianello is the smallest municipality in the province of Lecce for number of inhabitants.
It has an area of about 10 km2 and its typical elongated development is on the east–south-west axis, in the south-east of the Salento peninsula.
The Giuggianello area is mainly flat, with some quite hilly areas known as the Serre Salentine, of which the highest is near the Madonna della Serra church at 123 m.
The Serre offers visitors the loveliest views in Salento: red poppies carpet the countryside, but daisies and wild gladioli are equally striking in spring.
Delicate deep pink stretches of cyclamen sprout from ancient dry-stone walls or at the feet of knotty gnarled, age-old olive trees. From woods to meadows, there are white cascades of hawthorn and blackthorn. Orchids, the real treasure of this area, light up and colour the grass. Wild sage tempts bees with its honey-scented messages.
The residential area is located in a valley at 79 m above sea level, about half an hour from Lecce (the administrative hub of the province and the Baroque capital of Southern Italy), an hour from Brindisi’s Aeroporto del Salento, and a few minutes from enchanting archetypal coastal resorts like Otranto, Santa Cesarea Terme and Castro.
Archaeological finds in the area testify human presence since the Neolithic era, with relics coming to light in the nearby Grotta della Madonna della Serra. Moreover, megalithic monuments like dolmens and menhirs can be seen around the countryside.
In the Middle Ages, Giuggianello was made up of the hamlets of Quattro Macine, Polisano and Giuggianello.