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Rupestrian Settlements

Rupestrian settlements are an important example of that particular lifestyle called “living in caves”, which marked the beginning of the 11th century.
This phenomenon of “living in caves” continued in our area until 14th – 15th century, simultaneously with hamlets they kept building sub divo (above ground), and it’s pretty distinctive of our region.
After the gradual abandoning of Egnazia, now in ruins because of the several invasions following the fall of the Roman Empire, population moved inland, where the flowing of ancient rivers had carved the calcareous stone, shaping hollows called “lame”.
The walls of those “lame”, made of soft tufa, were suitable for digging whole hamlets, with caves used both for living and animal shelters, room for agricultural activities, oil mills and beautiful vaults decorated with Byzantine frescoes.
Among the most important settlements in Fasano is “Lama d’Antico”, the biggest one, nearby the railway station, with a lovely two naves crypt-church, “San Lorenzo” and “San Giovanni”, close to Contrada Scanzossa, and finally “San Francesco”, in the homonymous Masseria, and “Santa Vigilia Crypt” in “lama” of Masseria Abbaterisi.
 

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