The "Valley of the Cupa" is an area characterized by longitudinally elongated karst depression in the Isthmus flat area. On the most noticeable sides of the valley were organized the ancient Messapic cities of Rudiae and Cavallino, both enclosed on a "transversal sloping" axis in the Salento plain which, in some places, recalculated the path of a Paleolithic path that penetrated the Ionic coast Salento and headed towards the Adriatic coast between S. Cataldo and Roca. An old-fashioned road that during the Bronze and Bronze Civilization had facilitated commercial activities and the relationship between interior centers and coastal settlements. The Cupa area was also crossed by other "North-South" roads that united the Adriatic coast with the Ionian coast of Salento
The whole area is historically known as the "Cupa Valley", which, due to the presence of remarkable elements of historical and geographical interest, is one of the most interesting in Terra d'Otranto. Villas, farmhouses, fortified farms with colombaie and neviere towers, "paghiare", remains of paths of every historical era and cultivated fields, characterize the landscape of the Cupa, whose fertile soil has favored the cultivation of vine, fruit trees and , Thanks to the abundance of water, also widespread horticultural production. Turquoise clay and calcarenite caves have developed a remarkable craftsmanship and an architecture that in the historic centers has the typical typology of "court houses".
The villa is about 26 km from the Natural Park of Rauccio, just like the Adriatic coast, about 28 km from the Ionian coast, about 15 km from the city center of Lecce and about 53 km from the Salento airport in Brindisi. Moreover, the town of Carmiano is served by the F.S.E. Railway, Southeastern Railways, which provides connection with most neighboring municipalities and low Salento.
With the spread of the pleasure of living in the countryside, even in a rural environment, that rampant Baroque taste that in the city, but also in the small centers, had both of its noble and ecclesiastical architecture as well as of domestic construction. In the "Cupa" area, the phenomenon spread in oil stain. From the monumental "villas" to the most modest "casini", the decorative elements of Baroque blend admirably with nature and qualify the agrarian landscape. It is the period in which the type of settlement, which is called the masseria-casino or country casino, is a habitat of the rural habitat, which is a typical palazzo dwelling, in which the premises on the first floor They are always intended to accommodate the owner's family during the summer or during the harvest period. Often, the "casino" entices or incorporates the structures of the old masseria, masking "curtains", huts and ovens with spacious facades, set with accurate symmetry and splitting horizontally and vertically from cornices and slopes. Casino, or masseria-casino marks the shift from a cereal-pastoral economy to an economy based mainly on the woody crops of olive, almond and especially vine. As a rural settlement habitat, the country casino also expresses the new relationship that came between the landowners and peasant families between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. "The Casino" is the type of settlement that is associated with the half-colon house with the owner's seasonal residence in a two storey building defined by the union of two houses: on the ground floor the colonist's or gardener's home, Tobacconists, wine cellars and wine cellars, while on the upper floor the owner's seasonal dwelling, without clinging to the organization of façades and volumes, distinguishes between the two zones Social ", except with the presence on the noble floor of a loggia or" mignano "generally defined by one or more arcades that, in addition to interrupting the geometry of the surfaces, becomes discreet on the countryside, a place to talk to shelter From the sun or the humidity of the autumn evenings, a way to watch over the activities of the gardener or the colonist.
The casino is mostly viney ground, with fruit trees, and in which beyond the farmhouse is a home perhaps a mansion's mansion. " In fact, the settlement is more widespread where the vineyard predominates and, as a rule, every casino has a vineyard and venues to store wine. Between Arnesano, Novoli, Carmiano and Magliano; Between Lecce, San Cesario, Lequile, Monteroni and San Pietro in Lama, as well as in the triangle between Gallipoli, Sannicola and Parabita, we find the widest repertoire of the casino type and often in the Same areas it is difficult to distinguish a casino from a villa . Of the countryside relationship, the many casinos in the valley of the "Cupa" are the most explicit expression and also confirm the wider meaning of the term, which refers to the country house, Or that part of the princely villa reserved for the mansion or for various uses (hunting lodge, fishing casino, etc.)
Noble forms of rural architecture, expressions not so much of that "agricultural revolution" that in other regions of Italy in the course of the eighteenth century reached the highest levels in economic and agrofondary terms, but rather of a widespread pleasure of Living in the countryside at a time of great social contradictions, It is a phenomenon, that of the spread of the country casino that strangely manifests itself in the period of the greatest crises of the agricultural economy and at the moment of greater tension between the class of "gentlemen" And the peasant class. But it is a phenomenon, however, that left deep signs in the design of the Salento's agricultural landscape. Sober but precious architectures, which explain above all a continuous and vibrant relationship between city and country, a relationship that in recent decades has deteriorated, often irreversibly, as evidenced by the many abandoned casinos of the "Cupa" valley, a Relationship, too, that you could and should be restored, but that you first need to be recognized.
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