Pizzica Salentina: Song and Dance in Puglia

See how the dance is danced in our Italy travel video

What is Pizzica Salentina? Pizzica is a subset of tarantella dances that has its nexus in the Salento area of southern 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

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 region of Puglia has extensive rail lines

The video shows a performance at the Masseria Provenzani just north of Lecce. It is no longer in business..

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 want to spread out, or have a family, perhaps the best bet is to rent a home or vacation apartment: Lecce Province Vacation Rentals0Casa relax gets a high score, and it's 4 minutes from the beach.

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