“Se uei bidi nu signore, uardane subbra lu pede”. A gentleman can be acknowledged by his shoes (ancient saying … ) and if a building lives, is protected, is like a human body, the “coherent” building can be acknowledged by its flooring. The job of the architect is hard, and if the work is recovering an ancient construction … In the Apulian territory frequently aristocratic palaces, convents, entrance halls or courtyards in the historical centres as well as churches and cathedral can be found, whose floors are made of ceramics or grès, sometimes a kind imitating the Trani marble, or cold and insignificant esplanade of stone smoothed by pieces of equipment. Nevertheless floors used to mean, tell, not only when they offered to the eyes looking downwards church messages (in the cathedral of Otranto) or to make the shown wealth admired (in the palaces of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie). They told also the places, the jobs, the faith and the time, the lite. At that time floors were places of lived or represented stories. In the towers, farms, Apulian aristocratic houses the steps of the stairs were so worn aut that support was looked far at the edges along the walls, since the centrai part was by now as smooth and continuous as the bed of a stream. And also the floors made of cocciopesto were consumed, marking house paths connecting the sink with the bed in the other room, and the main and back door. They were traces of a lived lite, In the heart of Salento (the furthermost South strip of Puglia), is a land of wide historic and artistic range, whose importance has to be measured by using the parameter of millennia. (A. Antonaci). The first archaeological testimonies dating back to VII-V centuries B.C. can be referred to an indigenous, lapigean built-up area, made of scattered groups of huts. In the IV century B.C. the built-up area turned into a urban centre with houses regularly lined along the streets. City walls made of squared blocks still visible along 4 km, establishe the range, a few more than 100 hectares. By then Muro was one of the most important and strategie town of Messapia. The most ancient and presently the most known monumental testimony of the medieval period is the small church of Saint Marina, which at the very beginning, the Byzantine period, was dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The fortification of the urban nucleus dating back to 1400 is a real example of fortified village, with orthogonal streets and regular blocks still perfectly kept in the village “world” of the modern reality. However Muro Leccese is also art that can be admired in the evocative niches of Saint Domenico, in the churches of the Virgin and of Our Lady of Annunciation, real expressions of the Lecce baroque.
That is easily said mosaic. But just easily, if we think about the idea, to say the least winning, made in Puglia, indeed just Ugento. A new technique to make the mosaics, an innovative and ingenious, almost incredible invention upsetting those who are expert in ceramics working, but not only … , and it comes just from Ugento, a small centre south of Gallipoli, in Salento. We are talking about a 7x7cm tile made of ceramic, whose thickness does not exceed 2.00 millimetre, but it is not all … only pressing the fingers is sufficient to properly break, to have differently shaped, practically perfect tesseras: squared, rectangular, but also triangular, it depends on the engraving grill. Actually the tile is made of two sides: one with engravings, being the easybreaking lines using which tesseras can be obtained, and the other one is enamelled, with a range of 40 colours, more gold and platinum made with more than 90% of pure gold and platinum. Before this important invention, mosaics, to have the desired chrome effects, were created with a long and complex work consisting in fragmenting different materials: glass, common tiles of ceramics, marble, differently coloured calcareous stones. Now this is no more necessary and also those who are not expert can enjoy … Moreover, the innovative peculiarity of this product has been confirmed by the “lnternational Search Report” of the European Patent Office that granted the licence to the inventar of this new tile, the Apulian Gianni Ria, admirable for his tenacity, fond of a creative passion born in his family. Some explanations, but no declaration about the secret of this “magical” sheet which is commercialised in ltaly and abroad and “it has not to be either too soft or too dry” and is manufactured using handicraft procedures making each piece unique.