The Abbey of S. Maria di Cerrate in Puglia was a Byzantine rite monastery and then transformed into a center of agricultural production for the processing of olives that are born of excellent quality in this area. The peculiarity of this place lies precisely in this double soul: a place of worship and a historic farmhouse.
The S. Maria di Cerrate Abbey is immersed in a breathtaking landscape. If the legend says that the abbey was built following an apparition of the Madonna to King Tancredi d’Altavilla, history tells us that the building dates back to between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century.
The abbey is positioned in a strategic point, at least in ancient times, namely a Roman road that connected the city of Brindisi with those of Otranto and Lecce and soon became one of the most influential monastic centers in southern Italy.
After a period of decline and abandonment, thanks to a major restoration, the Abbey is once again open to visitors, giving visitors a clear and splendid example of Romanesque-Apulian architecture with frescoes that recall the Byzantine style. Since 2012, the complex of the S. Maria di Cerrate Abbey has been entrusted to the FAI, which takes care of its conservation, enhancement and promotion. For more information visit the FAI page.