Salento is one of the few territories in Italy that has preserved a strong connection between its land, with its geomorphological and ecological connotations, and its agricultural and food history and traditions, that in this area have survived through the centuries becoming a stronghold of the Mediterranean diet. In this furthest part of the peninsula, woodland, scrub, meadows and spontaneous flora are today relegated to the margins of inhabited and cultivated areas where olive trees, vines, and wheat, signalling the transition to a production-oriented agriculture, have been paired with a variety of fruit and vegetable cultivations developed by experienced farmers and young entrepreneurs.

Every garden in Salento has a fig tree, a mulberry, and a quince tree: three plants that at least until around the mid-19th century identified with the very concept of “Salento garden”, when the Mediterranean area witnessed the spread of a botanical “exoticism” trend; that was when aesthetically-conceived parks and gardens replaced what had until then been a multisensorial botanical experience.

This diversity of shapes and colours is today celebrated in a number of botanical gardens – often set in contexts of great landscape value – and in some masserie, which in the past centuries were farm estates and that from the mid-18th century extended and readapted to new functions and in some cases even converted into villas.

Discover itinerary's gardens