Mottola is located on a hill 387 metres above sea level, where the view ranges from the plains and sight of the gulf of Taranto to the green mountains of the high Sila. For this characteristic it is called the “lookout of the Ionian” or even the “Balcony of southern Apulia”. Around the hill, Mottola is developed on terraces which move in a circle towards the centre of the town. The town is one of the oldest settlements in Apulia and was always a stronghold against invaders: first against the inhabitants of Taranto they defended themselves with Bruzi and Messapi, later against the Romans with Hannibal. It was destroyed by the Normans around 1100 and then rebuilt by them; later it was Angevin and then the Caracciolo family’s for two centuries. Particularly famous for the rock civilisation in the surrounding areas, just outside town are the most interesting sights, such as the Petruscio ravine to the south-east of the town. Mottola possesses around 5800 hectares of woods, the last pieces of the large forest that covered most of Apulia and nearby Basilicata until the end of the 1800’s.
http://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it – Portale Turistico Istituzionale della Regione Puglia