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San Vito dei Normanni, Province of Brindisi, Puglia, Italy

San Vito dei Normanni coatofarms Located in the beautiful Salento area 40 km from the Ionian coast and just 9 km from the Adriatic Sea, this town has a rich folklore and lively traditions in cuisine (based on eggplants, fava beans, typical cakes) and especially in the field of music.

Walking along the streets of the historical center the visitor will surely notice how almost all doors are covered with a "rezza" (from the latin retia, meaning nets) made of horizontal wooden tiles in different colors, used to protect the entrance from the sun but also for privacy. It is the hometown of baroque musician Leonardo Leo (1694 - 1744), the founder of the Neapolitan music school, and the seat of an important mandolin center, where the traditional playing techniques are still taught and practised.
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Info

Altitude: 107 a.s.l -- Population: ca. 20,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 72019 -- Phone Area Code: 0831 -- Patron Saint: San Vito celebrated on June 15 -- Frazioni & Località: Conforto, Favorita, San Giacomo e San Vito Scalo

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Province of Brindisi

History

As shown from archeological findings and tombs in the area called Mondescine, there were settlements already in the 17th century BC. In the 11th century BC the area was colonized py populations coming from Illyria, across the Adriatic, and later by Messapians coming from Crete, and belonged to the Messapian 12 towns until the Roman conquest in 267 BC.

The town rose in the Middle Ages, probably around a tower fortified by the Normans to defend probably a community of Slavic people who had taken refuge in the area to escape from the Saracens invasions, with the name of San Vito degli Schiavoni. Its feudal lords were the Altavilla, Sambiase, Orsini Del Balzo and finally Dentice di Frasso. Finally after the unity of Italy in 1863 the name was changed to San Vito dei Normanni.

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