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Brindisi, Province of Brindisi, Puglia, Italy

This very ancient town was always characterized in history by its large natural harbor and the very special geographic position at the south-east of Italy, which made it a natural key point in travel to and from the East.

Brindisi - in Latin Brundusium or Brundisium - is said to mean "stag's head" in the Messapian (greek) dialect, in allusion to the shape of the harbour. This symbol appears in the coatofarms, which includes also a war cross for the civilian victims of WW2.
Brindisi coatofarms

Info

Altitude: a.s.l -- Population: ca. 90,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 72100 -- Phone Area Code: 0831 -- Patron Saint: San Teodoro d'Amasea and San Lorenzo da Brindisi celebrated on the first Sunday in September -- Frazioni & Località: Tuturano

Ancient History

With a fertile territory around it, it became the most important city of the Messapians, but it was developed by the Romans, into whose hands it came after 266 BC. They founded a colony there in 245 BC, and the Via Appia was perhaps extended through Tarentum as far as Brundisium at this period. The Latin poet Pacuvius was born here about 220 BC.

After the Punic Wars it became the chief point of embarkation for Greece and the East, via Dyrrachium or Corcyra. In the Social War it received Roman citizenship, and was made a free port by Marius Sulla. It suffered, however, from a siege conducted by Caesar in 49 BC and was again attacked in 42 and 40 BC. Virgil died here (19 BC) on his return from Greece. At the time of the Roman empire it had 100,000 inhabitants.

Trajan constructed the Via Trajana, a more direct route from Beneventum to Brundisium. The remains of ancient buildings are unimportant, though a considerable number of antiquities, especially inscriptions, have been discovered here: one column 62 ft. in height, with an ornate capital, still stands, and near it is the base of another, the column itself having been removed to Lecce. They are said to have marked the termination of the Via Appia.

Province of Brindisi

Medieval and Modern History

The city was conquered by Ostrogoths in the 5th century AD, and reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, which ruled Brindisi until 1070, the year of the Norman invasion. In 836 Brindisi was burned by Saracen pirates. Later, from 1268 Brindisi was ruled by the Angevins, and then by the Aragonese, Venetia and Spain in turn, falling to Austrian rule in 1707-1734, and afterwards to the Bourbons. Between September 1943 and February 1944 the city functioned as the temporary capital of Italy.

Where to stay

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