A few steps away from the farmhouse there is a Basilian Crypt of the Byzantine era belonging to the VII cent. AD whose frescoes, preserved up to our days, fascinate the connoisseurs of art.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Southern Italy is represented by the rupestrian settlements, which are an incredible evidence of the social, religious and artistic life of the Byzantine age. This housing and religious choice has brought to life spellbinding and artistically relevant contexts in the Puglia Region; it is characterized self-sufficient settlements on both a social and an economical level, including houses carved in the tufa too; there were also channelling system and tanks, which guaranted the water supply, as well as churches.
The rupestrian settlements, communal or isolated, have sometimes been lived in and utilized up until the las century;one only has to think of the hypogean oli mills and the churches. The entire area of Brindisi is linked to the rupestrian phenomenon, favoured by the particular geographic conditions. In order to escape the persecution of Leo III the Isaurian, who issued a series of edicts against the worship of images, the Basilian monks left the East, reached our shores seeking refuge and digging the limestone built several crypts and underground churches.
In the district of the Masseria Torrevecchia, by San Pancrazio Salentino, there is the so called Grotta dell’ Angelo, or of Sant’Angelo, to which one gains access thoughseven steps carved deep in the rock.
The oval shapedhall is centred by a hefty pillar, aimed at sustaining the vault; nowdays it is partly collapsed, and light traces of frescos can be spotted on it. A few pictorial fragments witness the presence of a very charming decorative display, which is represented by a fresco depicting San Vito martire, located on the left wall next to the entrance.
The church was most likely realized during the early Middle Ages, in the area of an older chamber – tomb, which was converted into a place of Christian cult.
The presence of the crypt proves that the old farm which has now became the agriturismo goes back centuries.