Squinzano is a town of Roman origin. It seems that the Roman console Tito Quinzio Flaminio, during the Taranto war in 190 BC built here a villa called Villa Quintiana.
The town developed only when a number of people moved to Squinzano from the nearby town of Valesio. In 1157 it was destroyed by the Norman Guglielmo il Malo.
Squinzano has few interesting churches but the main attraction is the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate, a Romanesque monastery, built by Tancredi d'Altavilla, Count of Lecce, in the 12th century.
What to see
The Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate
The Abbey of Cerrate, located between Torre Rinalda and Casalabate, is a Romanesque monastery, built by Tancredi d'Altavilla, Count of Lecce, in the 12th century.
It is considered one of the most important medieval monuments in Puglia for its distinct architectural decoration and the many frescoes, which once completely covered its interior walls.
The facade has a 13th century portal surmounted by an arch with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the New Testament. On either side of the portal there is a lancet window and, above it, a small rose window.
On the left hand side of the temple there is a fine 13th century portico with cylindrical and polygonal columns and decorated capitals. In front of the portico there is a Renaissance well.
The interior is decorated with 13th and 14th century frescoes, some of which have been restored and moved to a nearby museum.
The Abbey is currently managed by the Italian Environmental Fund, which acquired the property in 2012. It houses the Museum of the Crafts and Folk traditions of Salento.
Squinzano tourist information
+39 0832 782 285
Via A. Diaz, 14
Towns in Puglia