Pizzica Salentina: Song and Dance in Puglia

See how the dance is danced in our Italy travel video

What is this Pizzica thing? Pizzica 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 waves 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:

Travel Information: The Salento Peninsula

masseria provenzani lecce picture
Provenzani Apartment

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.

The video shows a performance at the Masseria Provenzani just north of Lecce, a very fine Masseria reworked into rooms and suites, highly recommended. Cooking schools are offered.

Weather and Climate

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.

Where to Stay

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 Rentals0.

See James Martin Travel Videos.

More on Wandering Italy

Music of Italy

Traditional Music

If you wander the smaller places in Italy, it's likely you'll find music like Musica Romagnola in a small, family-run seaside hotel, or in a church celebrating Traditional Ligurian Music.  Look for festivals and be rewarded by new sounds (to you) everywhere.


Plan Your Italy Vacation

Find out what the weather might be with our month to month climate charts for major tourism cities.


Find out about the Italian Territories

We have a huge collection of Maps for every region and many historic territories and sub regions.