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The name of this historic hilltop town recalls some of the earliest inhabitants of Puglia, the Messapi. Settlers in prehistoric times, the name Messapi means “between two seas” and this is in fact one of Ceglie Messapica’s many charms. Situated right in the heart of the countryside, it is almost exactly equidistant from both the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. Therefore, as the locals delight in telling you, you can pick which ever coast has the best wind when you want to go to the beach. Ceglie Messapica has a picturesque historical centre, built in the white stone typical of this area. But it is perhaps most well known for its excellent gastronomic tradition. The Gambero Rosso Guide – Italy’s equivalent of the Michelin ratings, highly recommends the gourmet restaurant “Cibus” and there are several other superb restaurants, as well as a selection of rustic “Osterias” serving delicious home-cooked food at very reasonable prices.
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