Marina di Lecce - Puglia
Opening 2024: 25 May to 15 Sep

Cerrate shines again

8 April 2018

After two years of restoration, the thousand-year-old church of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate finally reopened its doors for worship and visits last Friday, on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady traditionally celebrated here in the week following Easter since the 15th century.
The building is located on the provincial road that connects Squinzano to Casalabate, a stone’s throw from our vacation center, and is one of the most representative examples of the Apulian Romanesque style. Thanks to FAI’s masterpiece restoration, which also unearthed Byzantine frescoes dating back to the 12th century, the church was thus brought back to its original splendor and function with the solemn rededication ceremony officiated by Monsignor Michele Seccia, Bishop of Lecce.
On the occasion of its reopening, the abbey also returned to host the traditional agricultural fair “Lu panieri,” a market of “doughnuts, toys, crockery, dried and fresh fruit and various smallwares,” which opened up to handicrafts, traditional Salento trades and local products with more than 50 craftsmen present: from chair stuffers to tinsmiths, from makers of ceramics, olive wood and Lecce stone to food and wine products of Salento cuisine.
The FAI celebrates the reopening of this piece of Apulian history and art this way in its statement: “Once the fulcrum of a Byzantine monastery, then a typical masseria, the Abbey returns to tell the story of the richness and charm of Salento’s historical and artistic, cultural and landscape identity.”