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Inhabitants' name: Patuensi

The civic coat of arms of Patù has  a brown background and it represents a cat with a fish  in its mouth. Liborio Romano's houseAbout the origins of this village some historians advocate that in the past there used to be the barns of the town of Vereto, therefore the toponym might derive from "verduro prato" that  means deposit of the barns. According to an other hypothesis this centre was founded by the people who  had escaped from the destruction of Vereto (in the IX century), that was razed to the ground by the terrible Saracen. Probably, the survivors were attracted by the good climate and  the fertility of the ground. During the feudal age the Norman king Tancredi of Altavilla incorporated Patù into the  County of Lecce. In the XIV century the feud was bought by the Sambiasis, and then by the Capeces. In  1480 also Patù was attacked by the Turks, but after some years the small village became rich andA part of Liborio Romano's house peaceful again and it passed under the control of the Episcopalian Curia of Alessano. The last vassal was the prince D'Aragona from Cassiano, that governed until  1806. One of the most well-known local people is Liborio Romano, who was born in 1793 and, after graduating in Law he became an appreciated lawyer. He taught at the University of Naples and he played an important role in the politics. He was appointed Prefect of Police and Minister of the Interior. He  wrote and he published several articles, and he died in  1867. Other famous people are Donato Antonio Romano (lawyer), Angelo Romano  (who taught Canonical law), Domenico Damiano (theologian) and Francesco Cassiano (priest, philosopher and doctor).



In the territory of Patù, near the inhabited centre, there are the rests of the ancient town of Vereto. It Vereto Churchwas founded by the Messapians in the IV century B.C. and it became an important centre. According to the Greek historian  Erodoto Vereto was founded by some Cretans that were going to Sicily, but they shipwrecked on the coast of Leuca. They surveyors settled here and their descendants, the Messapians, conquered all the Salento. Vereto had a strategic position since it was near two important Messapian towns, Vaste and Ugento, and what is more, it was near to the sea. There were two harbours, the commercial one at Santa Maria di Leuca and the military one at San Gregorio. When the Romans invaded the Salento  in the III century B.C. Vereto became an important Roman town. Now the visitors can seeA part of the Vereto Church the rests of the ancient walls (dating back to the IV century B.C.) that defended the town. The archaeological finds  recovered during the excavations  are in the provincial museum of Lecce.  On the territory where there was Vereto there is a cave called "suda" where according to a legend (that has been handed down from generation to generation) the Messapians hided their treasure and some women before the invasion of the Saracens, who attacked the town  in the IX century. Now only the walls of Vereto have left.