The civic coat of arms
of San Donato di Lecce is marked by a blue background on which there is a lion
right leg on a ball, and behind this animal there is an imposing olive tree.
The human presence since the Prehistory is testified by three beautiful menhir,
denominated "Lete," "Curti Vecchi" and "St. Nicola." The first two menhirs are
in the small village under the administration of Galugnano while the third one is in the territory of
San Donato di Lecce. These megalithic monuments were used to adore ancient
divinities. There are no written documents about the first settlement: probably
the people from Lecce built here a fortress with defensive functions;
according to another theory the first centre was built around the X century.
It was first called Vigliano since there was a Chapel dedicated to the Madonna
of Vigliano. The feudal age began after the arrival of the Normans when the
king Tancredi of Altavilla incorporated this small town into the County of
Lecce. Later the feud, as the Principality of Taranto, was governed by the
Orsini del Balzos and then by the Vaaz De Andraras, the Capeces, the Bonvicinis
and the Ramoros and finally the barons Massa of Lecce, that governed until
1806. One of the most well-known local character is Donato Nicolaci. He lived
between the XIX and the XX centuries, and he became a good priest esteemed by
everyone. He was a good poet as well and he lived helping the poor charitably.