Walk in Matino and its underground hypogeum
In “A Locanda Tù Marchese” an historical building and family restaurant in Matino(Lecce), invite our guests for a walking in the historical centre and to visit hypogeal structures used in the past to make oil.
In the past Gallipoli and Matino too, was very famous in the word for lamp oil production. In our Locanda we organize a bike or walking hikes, and cooking workshop and tastings.
The hypogeum mill
The mills in Matino are a very important sign of our millenial country culture , and these places are very important to remember our past context of rural culture and to do not forget present heritage. In autumn with the beginning of the olive harvest, the crews were formed (groups pf 5 men, 4 “trappitari “man and 1 “nachiru” man). A lot of these crews were engaged in the village crushers and especially in those of Matino; others emigrated to neighboring cities and metapontino. Each crew had two hourses or mules, which had to rotate the millstones and do it blindfolded to prevent them from dizzying. The “trappitari” men , had no shoes, during the winter too, inside and outside the mill, worked together with the animals , night and day, with enstablished shifts.
The first milling
They started with the first milling an the animal made the stone turn (one or three very heavy wheels of stone) in a large tank, which reduced the olives to pulp (the pasta) made of crushed pulp and pits. The olives had been taken from boxes of deposit, the “sciave”. The paste was taken from the tub and placed in a sort of tin (mattra). The “mattra” also served to “trappitari” to rest the “fisculi”, compress them vertically downward, so as to enlarge them to be filled. The “trappitari” then filled with dough the “fisculi”, circular containers with a circumference slightly lower than that of the base of the press. The “fisculi” were made of intertwined rattan cords tied to the central spun hemp. They had two circular and parallel sides; the upper one had an opening in the middle, through which the past was introduced. Once the floors had been filled, the”fisculi” were placed one on top of the other by the “nachiru”.
Gallipoli, the world capital of lamp oil
The great capitals of Europe, including Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, from the beginning of the 16th century lit up thanks to the production of lamp oil, of which Gallipoli was one of the major export ports, when electricity arrived and production turned into food oil.
The properties of the Gallipoli’s oil were the clarity and the beauty and the London stock exchange defined the price of the latter on the basis of the Salento quotations.
Really a great success in the past for the lamp oil of Gallipoli; We in our Locanda will let you taste the oil of one of the mills of Matino, accompanied with other local specialties including friselline and taralli … are you ready to hear the rest of the history of these mills inside them?