In the 11th century the Normans, a people of
North European, Scandinavian and Danish origin,
conquered Longobard and Byzantine Apulia
and than Calabria and Moorish Sicily.
They founded a Kingdom with great political
and artistic influence which was to last for
800 years. In 1065 Ruggero Guarini, a
Norman knight, followed Boemondo Hauteville
as counsellor and companion-in-arms in the
adventure of the First Crusade. Today the
Guarini family continue to possess and
cultivate in Salento estates and farms
of about 700 hectares. The wines, the varieties
of oil, the cheese and the preserves are the
fruit of their work and an almost thousand-
year-old attachment to the region. The centre
of their enterprise is in Scorrano, where there
are the wine cellar and the oil mill, built
in the 19th and 15th centuries.
Scorrano is a
small pleasant town in the heart of the
Salento peninsula, 30 Kilometres from Lecce which is,
a fascinating artistic town famous for its
spectacular baroque architecture.
founded by the Roman centurion Marcus
Emilius Scaurus and was an important
bulwark against the advance of the Ottomans,
who in 1480 had conquered Otranto.