Inhabitants' name: Lequilesi

The civic coat of arms of Lequile is characterized by a spread black eagle with a crown on its head. The Menhirbackground is light blue. The Menhir ‘Aja della Corte’ dates to the Bronze Age, it is 2,80 m high and was discovered in 1922. Other historic evidences date to the feudal period and many historian think that the village was founded in the Roman period by the centurion Leculo who was given that land for the courage he showed against the enemies of Rome. He built the first house of the village and it grew from there. As the historians agree on how the village was founded, they have been discussing on the origin of the name ‘Lequile’. Some scholars think that the village was named after Leculo, others think that the name would come from the golden eagle on the coat-of-arms of Leculo’s family. The feudal time began in the 11th century when the village became part of the Principality of Taranto and the County of Lecce. In 1291 the village was bought by Ugo di Brienne. Several families ruled from the 14th century until 1433: the Bonomines, the De Marcos, the Sambiases, the Santabarbaras and the Marescallos. Later on, Agostino Guarino, Baron of St. Cesario, bought it from Maria of Enghien. The feud passed to the Dorias in 1532 and to the Pansas in 1555 then was ruled by the Dell’Annas, theThe Ruffo Palace Portal Graffogliettis, the Venatos and the Imparatos. The last vassals were the Princes Saluzzo, they bought it in 1624 but the contract of purchase was registered in 1690. They ruled for two centuries until 1806, when the feudal system was abolished. Several famous people were born in Lequile: Ezechiele Leandro was born in 1905, he got married and moved to Africa where he worked as a miner. As he came back to Italy, be became an appreciated artist especially as sculptor and painter. The creatures he created were fantastic and monstrous at the same time as the statues he had in his garden were disquieting and charming. His works were on show in Rome, Florence, Paris, Lyon and so on. He died in 1981 and was considered one of the best artists of the Salento. Brother Diego from Lequile was born in 1605 and became archducal Chaplain in Innsbruck and chronicler of the Austrian House. He wrote Brunetti Palaceseveral books such as ‘The life of the Virgin’ and died in Rome in 1673. Gioacchino Stampacchia was born in 1818 and became a skilled doctor and a famous man of letters. He took part to the ‘Giovane Italia’ and was arrested for this reason. He wrote the ‘Dictionary of the dialect of Lecce’ and died in Santa Maria Capua Venere in 1904. Other people from Lequile were: Salvatore Miccoli (mathematician and architect, 17th century), Brother Silvestre from Lequile (architect), Brother Nicolò from Lequile (architect), Giuseppe Spedicato (a priest), Oronzo Rossi (mayor and sculptor), Antonioy Mazzeo (papier-mâché artist), Oronzo Fortunato Miccoli (painter), Nino Rollo (sculptor), and so on.