A City of Salento in the province
of Lecce, Castrano preserves a unique artistic-architectonic
gem: the Paleochristian Church of S. Maria della Croce (5th
According to tradition, the City was founded by a Roman centurion
called Caesar, who was assigned this land after the civil
revolts of the I Century BC. Casarano lived the Imperial Era
in the shadow of the more powerful Gallipoli.
Later, it was scourged by the barbaric invasions of the Goths,
Eruli and Vandals arriving at the ephemeral Ostrogoth Reign,
which was swept away from the Byzantine army commanded by
General Belisario during the Greek-Gothic War (535-553).
The decline of the Longobards in Italy (570 AD) didn’t
reach this area of Puglia before the 7th Century, but its
Southern position left it in continual transit between Byzantine
and Longobard ownership.
In the 9th Century, the Saracens, settled in Bari, provoking
the emigration of the City’s inhabitants towards the
districts of Terra, Lacco and Sant’Elia.
The advent of the Normans during the 11th Century, brought
back peace to the region and Casarano was entrusted to Ottavia
Fuggetta, then under the Swabians (13th Century) to Goffredo
The defeat of the Swabians by the Angioini (1266), took fief
of Casarano under domination by Pietro Bertinaccio, and the
Tomacelli, Filomarino, Conca and D’Aquino Families.
The conquest of the Aragonese in this part of Southern Italy
(15th Century), coincided with the fall of Naples.
During the 18th Century, Duke Giacinto D’Aquino ordered
the building of the Castle.
There are many churches to visit: the High-Medieval Church
of the Madonna della Campana, Church of San Domenico (1536),
Church of Maria SS. Annuziata (the mother church until the
‘600s), Church of S. Maria della Croce (Mary of the
Cross - Casaranello, 7th Century), Church of the Immacolata
(Immaculate Conception), Church of the Sacro Cuore (Sacred
Heart), Church of San Giuseppe (St Joseph) of Copertino and
San Pio and the Church of the Cuore Immacolato di Maria (Immaculate
Heart of Mary).
It’s also worth walking along the streets of the historical
centre of Casarano, where it’s possible to admire noble
buildings and discover the particularity of its houses with
Every year the City comes to life during its Easter celebrations
in Holy Week. People walk through the streets and into churches
for the entire night.