Don’t miss: the Church of S. Maria di Leuca del Belvedere with its precious frescoes.
Leuca Piccola is a historical complex located in Barbarano, very close to Morciano. It is called this way because in the past centuries it used to be a rest place for pilgrims going to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca De finibus terrae (“End of the Land”).
The complex was built between 1685 and 1709 by Don Annibale Capece - whose blazon, the rampant lion, appears above the entrance of the church of Santa Maria del Belvedere - on the road from Lecce to meet the need of rest and shelter of the pilgrims heading to Leuca.
The premises were not limited to religious purposes, but there were also rooms for the rest and refreshment of people and animals.
The jewel of the site is the Church of Santa Maria di Leuca del Belvedere, restored in 1988, a smaller version of the Basilica di Leuca as it was in 1685. Precious frescoes decorate the walls and the ceiling, interesting for the simultaneous presence of saints belonging to both the Latin and Greek areas.
The basement is accesible from the courtyard. In its walls small cubicles were obtained, separated one from the other by partitions of rock. In the same rooms, three wells and their cool water quenched for centuries the thirst of pilgrims travelling here from all around Italy and Europe. The purpose for rest and refreshment of these premises is highlighted by the stone at the entrance, which states:
Don Annibale Capece or mi feconda
Se un tempo sviscerar fece il mio seno;
entra qui, dunque,e ti trattenga almeno
l’ombra, il fresco, la mensa, il vino e l’onda.
Finally, a curiosity handed down by the elders of the village, proofing the wisdom of the ancestors. In front of the inn is affixed a stone slab engraved with 10 P, meaning - they say, “parole poco pensate portano pena perciò prima pensare poi parlare” (words not pondered enough bring struggle therefore think before speaking).
Would you like to know more or how to get there? Contact us or ask at Reception!