Located a few kilometres from Taranto, in an area strongly affected by the presence of ravines, Grottaglie awaits us with its historic centre completely carved into the tuff, and it is precisely the thousands of caves, inhabited since prehistoric times, that give the city its name.
Known in ancient times as Kriptalys, Grottaglie belongs, by territory, culture, art and dialect, to the historical region of Salento.
During the Middle Ages, it was probably the barbarian invasions that pushed the inhabitants to return to live in the caves, organising the town with stairs, paths, canalisation and water flow works.
Although the Ionian area of Salento was not as Greek as the southern one, it is possible to admire an important Byzantine testimony at the Gravina di Riggio: high-quality Basilian frescoes with inscriptions in Greek.
In the 15th century, the village was surrounded by walls and protected by a Castle.
One of the historic nuclei of the village of Grottaglie is certainly the Ceramics District, along the San Giorgio gravel line. Here, expert potters have been able to develop a flourishing craft activity, now recognised and appreciated all over the world, creating workshops and firing ovens in the rock of hypogeum environments used in the past also as mills.
The Grottagliese figural tradition and decorative wealth have made Grottaglie the only Apulian ceramic centre protected by the DOC brand.
Walking through the streets of the village is immersing yourself in an ancient history that is revealed to our eyes. If the Madre Chiesa and the Episcopal Castle welcome us from afar with their profiles, the Ceramics Museum, the Church of San Francesco De Geronimo, the Gravina del Fullonese and the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Mutata certainly deserve to be discovered. Magical places where stone tells its story of being shaped by man.
The climate and characteristics of this area also favour olive growing and viticulture: if ancient cultivars produce a refined oil appreciated all over the world, it is the cultivation of table grapes that has earned Grottaglie an entry into the PGI 'Uva di Puglia' [Puglia grape] brand area.