Have you ever heard of the City of Primitivo? You probably have, if you are an admirer of good Italian wines, especially those from Puglia.
We are talking about Manduria, a small town in the province of Taranto, located in the upper Salento, which is, in fact, the birthplace of the famous ruby red wine.
Manduria owes its popularity above all to its lush vineyards and numerous wine cellars, which during the harvest period give off an intense and typical aroma of must that brings joy to the whole town. It is a scent of anticipation and joy for the "new" wine, of hope and gratitude for the land and the hard work of the farmers.
If you are planning a holiday dedicated to good wine, genuine food, nature and simplicity, Manduria is the place for you.
If you love wine and are curious to know the origins of the Primitivo di Manduria, we recommend a small wine and food tour among the Manduria wine cellars. In fact, it is possible to visit some of the vineyards and taste the local wines directly in some of the many wine cellars, accompanying them with typical food, especially cheeses and baked goods.
In addition to Primitivo, you can taste Negroamaro (a typical wine in the whole of Salento) and a wide variety of rosé and fresh white wines.
Manduria is also surrounded by splendid nature: the countryside is rich and varied and you can discover wonderful routes that will take you as far as the sea. Manduria is located inland, but is only a few minutes (by car) from the beautiful beaches of San Pietro in Bevagna. Our advice is to stay in one of the many old masserie (farmhouses) in the area. These are old structures once inhabited by farmers and cattle breeders, which have been skilfully re-evaluated and renovated to become enchanting paradises in the countryside with every modern comfort. The strength of these structures lies in the combination of old and new, tradition and luxury.
What else to do in Manduria? Definitely a tour of the old town centre: a labyrinth of narrow streets in which you can get lost and then find yourself, for example, in front of the splendid Chiesa Madre with its imposing rose window and the lions on either side of the main door.
The churches are many and all very beautiful: we recommend, for example, a visit to the Church of the Rosary and the Church of San Michele Arcangelo. The Jewish Ghetto is very suggestive, well preserved and full of fascinating views.
The archaeological area (Archaeological Park) of Manduria is very interesting. It includes the Messapian Walls, which surrounded and protected the town in ancient times, the Fonte Pliniano and the Church of San Pietro Mandurino.
The Fonte Pliniano, in particular, is the symbol of the town: it is a well located inside a natural cave from which fresh water flows continuously from an underground aquifer.
It is possible to visit this part of the city accompanied by a tourist guide who will help you fully understand the beauty and historical richness of the city's origins.
For dinner, we recommend one of the typical trattorias in the centre of Manduria: here you can enjoy typical meat or fish dishes or the famous orecchiette, mainly prepared with meat sauce. These are full-bodied and simple dishes that go well with the robust and soft Primitivo wine.