io Brindisi. LECCE. //. Route. 1(}5
From Brindisi the line proceeds (in 1 hr. 20 min.; fares 4 1.
10, 2 1. 95, 2 1. 10 c.) by the stations of S'. Pietro, Squinzano,
lecce (Albergo della Ferrovia, R. 3 L, reduced charges accor¬
ding to agreement), the capital of the province, with 17.836 inhab.,
situated a short distance from the sea (to which a road leads by
Castello di S. Cataldo, 4i/2 M. distant, a favourite object of ex¬
cursions), seat of a bishop, and possessing several handsome buildings
in the Renaissance style, such as the cathedral, dedicated to St.
Orontius, an ancient castle etc. The town, which is a dull place
in an unattractive district, occupies the site of the ancient Lupin.
At no great distance was situated Rudiae, where B. C. 239 Ennius
the father of Roman poetry, was born; now Rugge, a place of no
importance. The poet died in 168, patronized by the Scipios, in
whose burialplace at Rome his remains were deposited.
From Lecce a road leads by the industrial town of Nardb, the ancient
Nerelum of the Sallentini, now an episcopal residence, or by Galatina, to
(231 2 M.) the seaport, beautifully situated on a rocky island in the Gulf ot
Gallipoli, the I'rbs Grain Callipolis of the Geographer Mela, the Anxa
of Pliny (III. 11. 100), founded by the Lacedemonian Leucippus and the
Tarentines. The town is at the present day celebrated lor the excellence
of its oil. Date-palms are frequently ceen in the gardens of the handsome
villas in the vicinity. The steamers between Ancona and Messina touch
here 3 times monthly.
The line from Lecce to Otranto is at present (March L"-69)
opened as far as Maglie (in 1 hr. 13 min.; fares 3 1. 10, 2 1.
15, 11. 55 c). Stations: ••?. Cesario di Lecce, S. Donato,
Sternatia, Zollino, C.rigliano, Maglie, whence the traveller is
conveyed by omnibus or diligence to (9^2 M.)
Otranto, the Greek Hydrus, the Roman Hydruntum, a colony
and municipium, often mentioned by the ancients as a point of
embarcation for Apollonia in Epirus, subsequently for a long
period subject to the Greek emperors, in the ilth cent, captured
by the Normans, who under Robert Guiscard and Bohemund con¬
ducted from this point the siege of Durazzo (Dyrrachium) in Al¬
bania, now an insignificant fishing town. It possesses a fortress
with two towers, erected by Alphonso of Arragon and strengthened
by Charles V. , and is also the seat of an archbishop. On July
28th , 1480 , the then prosperous town was attacked by the Tur¬
kish fleet under Achmet Pascha, grand-vizier of Mohammed II..
and entirely destroyed; 12,000 of the inhabitants were put to
death, the remainder carried off as slaves , the churches razed to
the ground and the archbishop and priests barbarously maltreated.
The following year the Turk- were expelled by the Duke of Ca¬
labria, afterwards Alphonso II., tut the town never recovered
from the effects of this cruel assault. The cathedral still contains