c Archaeological sites of Melendugno: Grotta della Poesia, Roca and Dolmen

Poesia Cave during the Sunset..

Roca Vecchia Promontory from the Sky...

Il Dolmen Placa...

Il Dolmen Gurgulante...

The archaeological sites of Melendugno territory and his coasts


Among the most important archaeologiarchaeological sitescal sites of Melendugno territory we begin from the archaeological site of Roca Vecchia, which is on a promontory, referred to “Zona Castello – Carrare” (Castle area – Carrare), whose the existence date back to the bronze age (2nd millennium bc).

The imposing fortification had built to protect the village during the time of b. medium (18th – 14th century b.C.) and rebuilt several times during the time of b. recently (14th-13th century b.C.) and b. final (13th-11th-10th century b.C.). The occupation of the site continues during the iron age (10th-8th century b.C.)

Great importance takes on the phase messapica (4th-3rd century b.C.) which are conserved features of walls, made by using big blocks of limestone sedimentary rock (calcarenite), and the graves that have conserved rich grave goods. At the Medieval and post Medieval phase (mid 14th- late 16th century a.D.) we have the remains of a residential area (orthogonal structure), walls surrounded by a large moat and Castle.

At this archaeological site belongs the extraordinary monument called Grotta della Poesia, consisting of a natural cavity, karst origin, which opens in layers of limestone at the South of the promontory. On the rock face overlap hundred of signs and symbols that prove the frequentation of the place, cultural purpose, from the protohistoric age to second century b.C.

“The information are used with the permission of Roca Unisalento

This Archaeological area represents a unique heritage in the world. Currently the area is aim of conservative restoration and enhancement and fruition of the archaeological area. Now it is available a free secure footpath to visit a part of this wonderful area and having chat with our archaeologists.
Opening times: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm
For further information and news visit the facebook page of Roca Archaeological Project


Talking about the Archaeological sites, in addition to the ancient village of Roca Vecchia, we have the famous Grotta della Poesia. This is an important naturalistic and archeological site that is part of coastal Karst cavity system, reached and flooded from the sea through a channel, reachable by small boats or swimming.

The continuous sea erosion caused the collapse of limestone roofs with the consequent formation of two large neighbouring space, elliptical form, originally known as Posia Grande and Posia Piccola. From a landscape point of view, due to its shape and suggestive location, it appears as one of the most beautiful natural swimming pool existing in Salento.

The cave is also important from an historical point of view, because it has significant proofs coming from her association with humans since the prehistoric age. In fact after an archaeological and exploratory test, made in 1983, have been rediscovered and engraved on the walls, many signs related to different cultures inside: Messapi (ancient local population during the Iron Age), Greek and Latin. As a result of the studies, it has been discovered that the cave had used as a place of worship from a God named “Taotor”.

“The information are used with the permission of Roca Unisalento

The Municipality of Melendugno made an accessible area by installing walkways that reach the interior of the cave, so everyone could visit it in all its beauty without dive in.

From 29th July to 10th September, in cooperation with “SU.E.SA” social and promotional association, we will provide free social promotion tourist service to visit the cave

Guided tour, available by reservation, calling these numbers: + 39 327 5613762/+ 39 388 1686286


Recognized as archaeological sites along the provincial road Melendugno-Calimera, surrounded by olive groves next to each other, there are two amazing prehistoric megalithic monuments: Placa Dolmen and Gurgulante Dolmen

It might be strange but both of them are considered archaeological sites; in fact they are ancient tombs, single room, made by stone slabs placed vertically as pillars and an other one used by covering.

The monuments have been unearthed, early 1900s, by the scholar (author and photographer) Giuseppe Palumbo (Calimera, 1889-1959) and later studied and took a census by the local archaeologist Cosimo De Giorgi (Lizzanello, 1842-1922) who explained Carthusian descriptions too.

Gurgulante Dolmen is located on the same name of land, district of Montepiccioli. It is two meters wide and about one meter high, it also has a large slab of coverage, about 30 cm thick, placed on five pillars erected on an emerged rock.

Placa Dolmen is nearby located, it has similar size, but the quadrangular covering slab is supported by seven monoliths.

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