Mattinata, Province of Foggia, Puglia, Italy
The commune includes a very wide territory (about 72 square km), and the center rises on two hills, Coppa Madonna and Castelluccio, between Monte Saraceno to the south and Monte Sacro to the north, in a valley covered of olive trees, which, together with summer tourism, are the main economic resources of the place.
Situated in a territory of great beauty, with a hinterland of green terraced hills created with hundreds of years of cultivations, white rocks descending to the blue sea, and the enchanting, small stone houses of the hamlet. A great many itineraries offer unique landscapes: the Benedictine ruins on the Monte Sacro, the pre-Roman necropolis on the Monte Saraceno, the boat trips that allow to reach enchanting small bays and the many sea grottos - some of them still unexplored. And last, but not least, 61 orchid species endemic of the area, that cannot be found anywhere else.
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Population: ca. 6,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 71030 -- Phone Area Code: 0884 -- Patron Saint: Santa Maria della Luce celebrated on 15 September
Archeological remains on Mount Saraceno, among them a necropolis with over 500 tombs, show that the area was inhabited already in the 6th century BC, by the Dauni population. In Roman times a colony existed with the name of Matinum, and excavations have brought to life traces of a Roman port. Some unknown event, possibly an earthquake, caused the disappearance of the Roman town. For long centuries there is no information on the area, until in 1058 a Benedictine abbey on Monte Sacro appears in records. This monastery grew in importance and power until the 14th century. The present center of Mattinata rose in the late 18th century on the hill of Castelluccio at the time all covered with olive plantations. The hamlet was included in the municipality of Monte Sant'Angelo until 1955.