The civic coat
of arms of Alliste consists of a pair of wings on a blue background. in the
is a capital ‘A’. We can advance two hypotheses on the origins of the village.
It was probably founded by the Greeks and its name could derive from the Greek
“kallistes”, ‘beautiful town’. Otherwise the village was only a place where the
farmers used to grow vineyards. In the 9th or 10th century
the near town of Felline was destroyed by the Saracens and its fugitive went to
Alliste. The legend says that those people were guided by an angel whose wings
appear also on the civic coat of arms. The name of the village changed in
Alisti, Liste, Alitzai and finally Alliste. When the Normans came, the King
Tancredi gave this village to Guglielmo Bonsecolo. In the countryside around
Alliste there were many marshes but they were reclaimed by the Bonsecolo and the
Monks. The village was also ruled by the Pisanellis, the Senis, the Tolomeis,
the Guevaras, the Pignatellis, the D’Amores, the Olivas and finally the
Scategnas. Among the famous people of Alliste we remember: Francesco Basurto
belongd to a wealthy family. He lived in the 19th century and became
lawyer and then had a chair of Jurisprudence. He was also a good poet and a
literary man. Quintino Mastroleo lived between the 17th and the 18th century. He
became Abbot and since he was also a good literary man he became the example for
all his students in the Seminary of Nardò. Quintino Napoli was born in 1850 and
became the editor of “La Gazzetta di Puglia” and died in 1923. Giuseppe Vito
Venneri was born in 1736 and became a philosopher and surgeon, he died in 1823.
Salvatore Ferilli lived in the 19th century and was an appreciated physician and
surgeon, he was even chosen as the doctor of the court.