Santa Cesarea Terme

Santa Cesarea Terme is a town and comune of 3,100 inhabitants in province of Lecce, in Apulia, southern Italy. Situated on the coast at the beginning of the Otranto canal on a terrace of the coast which comes down to the sea, the town of Santa Cesarea is one of the most important centres of care of Salento. The exploitation of the waters, coming from four caves, dates back to 1500 and on these caves is based the economy of the whole town with the constitution of different thermal establishments equipped for the caring of the baths and the muds with the possibility of other therapies. An ancient local legend claims that the area got its name because a young woman called Cisaria fled from her abusive father and hiding in one of the many grottos, lost her life when she slipped and fell into the hot waters below, an alternative version of the legend claims that it was the pursuing father who slipped and died. A relatively new town, its development on a rocky coastline, riddled with underground caverns and fissured rock strata was encouraged by the presence of hot natural springs. These hot mineral springs, with thermal waters rich in iodine, sulphurs and sodium chloride, rising up through the porous bedrock of the area from deep underground, have formed a network of aquifers that puncture the underlying rock strata before draining through cave systems into the cold salty waters of the Adriatic Sea. The most significant of these sulphurous grottos are the four cisterns of Feidida, Solfurea, Gattula and Solfatura whose endless waters at different temperature ranges have encouraged the towns development into a renowned Spa, and today, its range of thermal baths support an important health centre bringing tourists and visitors from all over Italy and further beyond. Known throughout early history, it was only in the 1700s that upper class citizens and the local aristocracy started to build residences here for holidaying whilst indulging in the health giving waters of the mineral springs. Over the years magnificent Villas, Palazzos and extravagant summer residences extended the town, and elegant avenues connected them whilst the towns heart developed with fashionable hotels and accommodations for visitors from further afield
40.0353036563 - 18.4556579589

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