The Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae is a chosen place of the spirit, raised to a minor basilica in 1990, overlooking the sea of Santa Maria di Leuca on the extreme southern shore of Salento.
Built on the remains of a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae was destroyed several times by Turkish raids and in 1507 it assumed its current appearance at the behest of the Del Balzo nobles, to whom we owe the image of the Madonna with Child of the high altar. In the eighteenth century it was rebuilt again with the intention of building a church similar to a civilian house to prevent further destruction.
Tradition has it that St. Peter, on his way to Bevagna, landed in Leuca and came across the pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, christianizing it by naming it after Mary. He therefore dedicated himself to the conversion of the Salento population and he started his work of evangelization of the West. As evidence of St. Peter’s passage remains the Pietrina Cross in front of the Sanctuary, next to the Corinthian column of 1694.