Pizzica dancing is a subset of tarantella dances that has its nexus in the Salento area of Puglia. These frenetic dances were thought to be the only cure for the spider's poisonous bite when the symptoms started: melancholy, stupor, madness and an uncontrollable desire to dance. The patient (tarantata) then danced for hours in the grip of the epilepsy caused by the poison, until totally exhausted and spiritually drained.
Today, the Pizzica is a newly emerging art form. No longer having roots in superstition, the dance is now largely about love, eroticism and passion; a woman dancing to the frenetic rhythm of tambourines waver her scarf and invites men to dance until she tires of them and invites another. See for yourself in this video of the ethnomusical group Alla Bua:
The Salento is the area of relatively flat land that lies in the heel of Italy's "boot" and extends to the end of the Peninsula at Santa Maria di Leuca.
Summer is peak tourism time and pretty much a bad time to hit the beach cities in Puglia, although the interior can be lightly touristed, even in the hot months of summer. In April and May the countryside is awash in wildflowers, and the weather is usually quite splendid.
See our Lecce Travel Climate and Weather page for more detail.
If you don't want to stay at the Masseria we've recommended, you can use our handy hotel search box to find a user-rated hotel in the Lecce area--or anywhere else in Europe.
If you want to spread out, or have a family, perhaps the best bet is to rent a home or vacation apartment: Lecce Province Vacation Rentals.