South Italy is still a centre of diversity for melons but new cultivars progressively replace its traditional landraces. The area of Salento is important for several typical old crops as the cucumber melon ‘Meloncella’ (Cucumis melo L. var. chate (Hasselq.) Filov) traditionally cultivated for its unripe fruits. Information on cultivation, quality and variation of this Apulian landrace (probably the last relic of a wider cultivation in Europe) is reported. A strategy for its characterization and safeguarding is in progress at the genebank of IGV of Bari (Italy).