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30 April 2021


The Pasticciotto, where it all began  


GALATINA (Le) is also referred to as the Umbeliculus of Salento because it is equidistant from the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea.


Famous for its confectionery art, Galatinese cuisine owes its goodness to the simplicity of its ingredients and the wisdom of its preparation. It is established history that the origin of the artisanal production of Salento's best-known dessert, the 'pasticciotto', dates back to the ancient workshop of the Ascalone family, in 1745.


The succession of generations has ensured that the original recipe, handed down orally, has generated a confectionery tradition, giving rise to many other craft businesses with a specific product quality.


This has allowed Galatina to be referred to as the undisputed capital of the pasticciotto. The cake is composed of shortcrust pastry and custard that, through a special baking process, achieve a perfect balance. The oval shape has a typical upper roundness, suitably burnished by a baking process that leaves the shortcrust pastry compact and makes the cream's aroma soft and persistent.


Among the uniqueness of pastry production, mention should also be made of the African, also called apostles' fingers, which date back to the 18th century, and the P.A.T. certified ice cream mafalda, which owes its name to a street in Galatina.

The experience of visiting Galatina, going through the old centre, fills the senses with beauty. The alternation of courtyard houses, the expression of a popular urban architecture, with the splendour of the dozens of historic and noble palaces, with their richly decorated portals, offers a path in which the gaze is lost in place and time. The architecture of the historical centre is complemented by the countless churches, among which the Minor Papal Basilica of St Catherine of Alexandria stands out for its absolute beauty.


It is one of the most distinguished monuments of Apulian Romanesque and Gothic art in Apulia. Its frescoes of the Giotto and Sienese school, dating from the late 14th and early 15th century, cover the entire wall surface. For the vastness of its pictorial cycles, the Galatinese basilica is second only to the basilica of St Francis of Assisi.


An explosion of dancing to the rhythm of the 'pizzica', perfumes and folklore accompany the celebrations of the Patron Saints Peter and Paul on 28, 29 and 30 June. Until the 1980s, the chapel of San Paolo was home to the tarantati, who for three days and nights alternated sleeping phases with moments of choreographed dancing to eradicate evil.


This rite, which has now disappeared, is revived in a folkloristic key with spontaneous patrols and traditional processions with colourful scenery.


St. Peter's Square, with the majesty of the façade of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, welcomes and bids farewell to guests, like a postcard from the world.


To visit: Basilica Pontificia minore of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the Chiesa Matrice of Saints Peter and Paul that preserves the stone on which St. Peter sat, the 18th-century Corte Vinella, Palazzo Tafuri- Mongiò with its rococo lines, Museo Civico Pietro Cavoti.



Photo by Alberto Russi, Gaetano Armenio

Municipality of Galatina
T + 39 0836 63311

Municipal Police

T + 39 0836 564767


Tourist Infopoint

Via Vittorie Emmanule II n 35

T + 39 0836 569984


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