If the gate of Giuso was the southern entrance into the town, that of Monterrone was the northern gate and permitted those who came from Cisternino, Locorotondo and Martina Franca to enter. To defend the town in the case of enemy attack, the gate was conceived with a more articulate architecture compared to the others. It was set into the fortified walls and had a double entrance: a smaller door that has been walled up that allowed pedestrians to enter and an arch with the large doors of the wooden gate which allowed carriages to pass. The surveillance of the road was guaranteed by a powerful square tower seven metres high at the side of the entrance. Coming out of the gate the belvedere Monterrone opens out before you, a splendid balcony that faces onto the surrounding land, from which you can admire the hills on which stand Locorotondo, Martina Franca and Cisternino, as well as Ostuni, Carovigno and the areas of upper Salento. Furthermore, on the external circle of the walls Palazzo Vitale appears. The building, built in 1801 by the architect Salvatore Trinchera, reminds one of the Pitti Palace in Florence for the convex bosses at the ground floor which, being of natural local stone, have taken on a precious amber colour.



Via Porticella, Ceglie Messapica


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