Facing onto the Itria Valley in an area known as the Murgia dei Trulli, Cisternino is 46 kilometres (28 miles) from Brindisi, near the Adriatic coast.
The Porta Grande (or Norman-Swabian) Tower, topped by a statue of San Nicola, is the main entrance to this, one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Towns.
Visit the old town centre and admire its many historical residences: the Governor’s Palace, a beautiful example of baroque architecture; the 16th century Bishop’s Palace; Palazzo Amati; Palazzo Lagravinese; and Palazzo Ricci-Capece with its Wind Tower.
A bit further on and you’ll find the convent of Capuchin monks with the Church of Sant’Antonio, the Church of San Quirico, and the 16th century Chiesa Matrice (Mother Church), dedicated to San Nicola di Patara and constructed over the ruins of an earlier Paleo-Christian church.
On Easter Monday, the townspeople gather at the Sanctuary of the Madonna d’Ibernia, an archaeological site with Roman and medieval ruins. They bring with them “u chrruchl,” a sweet that’s said to bring good luck and is shaped like a small bag with two hard-boiled eggs (for the men), or like a doll with an egg in its belly (for the women).