About 4 km from Masseria Poesia, so within walking and cycling, distance lies the township of Cisternino. It prides itself of having been recognized as one of the most beautiful townships of Italy. It has been awarded the orange flag by the Italian Touring Club. Its history goes back to the ancient Messapi people, who must have chosen to settle there because of its position, dominating the Valley d'Itria. The best spots to enjoy this panorama are the terraces of the Pineta and Villa. This is where locals and tourists gather and where folkloristic events are organized.
Cisternino is a member of the green agricultural flag and of the international slow-cities network. The excellent local produce (fruit, vegetables, dairy products, fresh and cured meat) may be purchased in one of the numerous shops, at the weekly market on Monday.
The old center has an almost oriental atmosphere. It is a labyrinth of narrow alleys between the whitewashed houses with their stone balconies and stairways. Cisternino is renowned for its “fornello pronto” restaurants, originally butcher’s shops that grill the meat you choose or cook it in a wood oven. The inhabitants of the various contrade (boroughs) that surround the city are enthusiastically involved in a (friendly) competition of “sagre,” open-air celebrations that often concentrate on one local dish (tripe, meatballs and so on). They may last for several days and are invariably concluded with fireworks. Cisternino is also the location of the ASHRAM OF BABJI, not far from the center. Its members alternate prayer with meditation and community work, following the model of the ashram of Herakhan.