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In addition to the beauty of its natural landscapes, the Salento is a renowned tourist destination for the countless cultural, artistic and musical events that it offers and that have made it famous all over the world.
The Notte della Taranta is the biggest festival in Italy and one of the most important events on popular culture in Europe; it aims to enhance the traditional music of Salento and repropose it through contamination with other musical languages. It takes place in August, touring through various squares in Salento: it starts in Corigliano d'Otranto and culminates in the big concert in Melpignano, with the participation of nationally and internationally renowned musicians. Each edition of the final concertone is entrusted to a 'maestro concertatore' whose task is to arrange the traditional music of the Salento, blending its rhythms with those of other musical traditions.
In Scorrano, in the province of Lecce, there is the patronal feast in honour of Santa Domenica; the town is considered the 'world capital of illuminations' thanks to the imposing and mastodontic systems of illuminations that are unique in the world. The festival starts on 5 July and ends on 9 July, but the main day of the celebrations is 6 July. The festivities start on the evening of 5 July, when the illuminations are lit, marking the beginning of the grandiose pyrotechnic displays during the day and in the evening. This is a unique spectacle!
The feast of St Oronzo, St Giusto and St Fortunato, the patron saints, takes place in Lecce on 24, 25 and 26 August. Saint Oronzo is the patron saint of the city because he saved the people of Lecce from the plague in 1656 and the procession in his honour through the streets of the old town centre kicks off the festivities. Illuminations, concerts and stalls liven up the city and accompany the days of celebration, while waiting for the night-time fireworks display on 26 August.