Il Giardino Megalitico
Il Giardino Megalitico
4.5
What people are saying
Brun066
By Brun066
The largest concentration of megalithic monuments in Puglia
4.0 of 5 bubblesMar 2016
The small Giurdignano town, near Otranto, is famous because its territory is scattered (more than any other area of ​​Puglia, which is still equipped with them) of some Bronze Age (about 4000-2000 years BC) megalithic monuments: mostly menhirs (that is, long stones, similar to small obelisks, stuck vertically into the soil) and, to a lesser extent, dolmens (ie sort of large slabs of stone, high on the ground because supported by two or more vertical plates, originally used as burial). This presence establishes the status of Giurdignano as "megalithic garden of Italy". Menhirs and dolmens, as is known, are common artifacts in much of western and southern Europe (probably the most famous are the menhir at Carnac in Brittany - France) Anyway, few artifacts are inside the town of Giurdignano itself; most are scattered in the countryside west and south-west of the town. In our path, we especially enjoyed the St. Paul's menhir, as it presents an interesting case of syncretism between pre-Christian and Christian beliefs: the rock on which the menhir is stuck hosts a small low cave, in which the St Paul's figure and a spider web were painted. The painting refers to the belief that the saint was the protector of women who, bitten by the spider said "Tarantula," went into a trance. The dolmen "Stabile" is also very impressive, as it's well preserved, and it presents grooves on the top stone; which suggests that there flowed the blood of animals that were sacrificed in memory of the deceased. The path that interconnects these megalithic monuments is impressive even for the agricultural landscape (mainly olive trees) that is crossed. The traveler can search the Web for the possibility of a guided tour to these monuments; but he also can walk independently. Route maps are available on the website "Salentonline" (then click on "Itinerari naturalistici", ie "Nature trails"), or - even better - in the book "Trekking nel Salento" that can be purchased on the website "Maurizio Cezzi".

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TheNYStanhopes
New York City, NY23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
We had a wonderful afternoon with Tiziana of the archaeological and educational organization Puglia Megalitica visiting the various monuments of the giardino and learning a great deal about the rich history of the region from megalithic times until the Christian era. Puglia Megalitica is a charitable academic organization carrying out the important work of surveying the dolmens and menhirs of the region, and raising awareness about this aspect of the European cultural heritage. The children (14,12 and 9) really enjoyed the quizzes prepared for each station on the tour, and the many civilizations represented in the area were brought to life. The highlight for us, if we had to choose, was the visit to the last two dolmens, which sit amidst an orchard and a hay field. We wandered through olive groves and down lanes lined with blackberries and wild fennel. Tiziana explained the current theories about the significance of the dolmens as the sun set, returning to Gallipoli (about 50 minutes) with a lot to think about and many evocative and mysterious images in our minds. thank you Tiziana!!
Written 8 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brun066
Florence, Italy12,987 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
The small Giurdignano town, near Otranto, is famous because its territory is scattered (more than any other area of ​​Puglia, which is still equipped with them) of some Bronze Age (about 4000-2000 years BC) megalithic monuments: mostly menhirs (that is, long stones, similar to small obelisks, stuck vertically into the soil) and, to a lesser extent, dolmens (ie sort of large slabs of stone, high on the ground because supported by two or more vertical plates, originally used as burial).
This presence establishes the status of Giurdignano as "megalithic garden of Italy".
Menhirs and dolmens, as is known, are common artifacts in much of western and southern Europe (probably the most famous are the menhir at Carnac in Brittany - France)
Anyway, few artifacts are inside the town of Giurdignano itself; most are scattered in the countryside west and south-west of the town.
In our path, we especially enjoyed the St. Paul's menhir, as it presents an interesting case of syncretism between pre-Christian and Christian beliefs: the rock on which the menhir is stuck hosts a small low cave, in which the St Paul's figure and a spider web were painted. The painting refers to the belief that the saint was the protector of women who, bitten by the spider said "Tarantula," went into a trance.
The dolmen "Stabile" is also very impressive, as it's well preserved, and it presents grooves on the top stone; which suggests that there flowed the blood of animals that were sacrificed in memory of the deceased.
The path that interconnects these megalithic monuments is impressive even for the agricultural landscape (mainly olive trees) that is crossed.
The traveler can search the Web for the possibility of a guided tour to these monuments; but he also can walk independently. Route maps are available on the website "Salentonline" (then click on "Itinerari naturalistici", ie "Nature trails"), or - even better - in the book "Trekking nel Salento" that can be purchased on the website "Maurizio Cezzi".
Written 24 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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