Masseria Fortificata Spina
One of the discoveries we?ve made in Apulia, was the masseria. It is typical feature of the Apulian countryside but you will not find the masserie anywhere else in Italy.
The masseria, half farmhouse ? half castle, was the way to survive in the medieval Apulia. A masseria appears basically as a sort of self-sufficient citadel with defensive means, built close to a subterranean cave.
One such complex, Masseria Fortificata Spina , is a mile or so from the Cala Corvino Residence, you will see its sign at Via Aldo Moro, main street of the area. Follow the sign, and turn on back alley called Cda Spina, which brings you to the entrance (300m). Outside the masseria looks like a small castle. The Masseria Fortificata Spina is arranged around a large 14th century courtyard, a wing of the building was occupied by the owner, the other parts served as farming facilities ? you will see the tools everywhere. From the second courtyard magnificent outer staircase leads to the second floor with loggia (16th century). At the bottom of the staircase there is a lovely decorated well.
Adjusted to the main building is a 19th century chapel decorated with sculptures. Behind the chapel is the third courtyard, actually graveyard with traces of old graves. On the corner you will find entrance to the underground vault.
When you finished exploring the first complex, exit the fortress and walk around it northwards. Wide path running along the fortifications brings you to the stone bridge. On the left you see old garden with the fruit trees and ahead, beyond the bridge ? entrance to the underground caves covered with frescoes.
The caves are the oldest part of the masseria and date back to the 9th century. In the recent times, the caves were used as warehouse to process and store olive oil.