With the suppression of monastic orders and forfeiture of church property, the Province Minorite Salento saw no Building of worship in which to exercise the liturgical activities. And ‘only in 1901 that the Friars Minor in the back seat Salento, taking advantage of the legacy of Letizia Balsamo which destined to the friars villa located on the outskirts of the city, inside a large property.
The villa was built by the noble Lecce Don Fulgenzio Della Monaca, which bind his name not
only the building but all the country. The Pinacoteca occupies Franciscan just the old sixteenth-century building, next which it is the present church with attached convent. Access to the villa was secured by a imposing arch, still visible a few meters from the Convent of San
Antonio, beyond which you reach the church of Saints Philip and James.
The villa itself is accessed from the right side, and along a large corridor with vaulted ceilings corresponding to the old premises of the easement, and today the public library “Caracciolo”. At the end the hall opens the stairwell leading upstairs, enhanced by a beautiful loggia, and in the basement with access to the garden to orange groves and the beautiful nymph. The nymphaeum Fulgenzio is a wonderful example of architecture century noble. the ceiling and walls embedded with shells, to frame the tanks, make the place very fascinating.