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San Marco in Lamis, Province of Foggia, Puglia, Italy

san-marco-in-lamis coatofarms Situated partly in the plain and partly among the hills and Gargano promontory, the center lies in a Karst area connected to the Stignano valley to the west and the Starale valley to the east.

Through these valleys the pilgrims used to walk to the sanctuary of Saint Micheal, passing through San Giovanni Rotondo and the marshes (the ancient Lake of Sant'Egidio). This route was called Via Sacred Langobardorum, since at the time of the Lombard occupation the sanctuary gained in importance, being St. Michael the Archangel much worshipped by the Northern invaders (the Archangel actually replaced their pagan veneration for Hercules).
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Info

Altitude: 642 mt a.s.l -- Population: ca. 7800 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 71014 -- Phone Area Code: 0882 -- Patron Saint: San Marco Evangelista (25 april), San Matteo Evangelista and Maria SS. Addolorata (21 September) -- Frazioni & Localities: Borgo Celano

History

The origins of the town are closely connected to the Convent of San Matteo, previously called San Giovanni in Lamis. The name Lamis probably derives from the swamps (lamae) where the local shepherds found shelter in order to escape from the Saracens. The regular flow of pilgrims to the shrine of San Michael left traces also in the language. The name San Marco de Lama appears for the first time in a 1095 diploma of Norman Count Henry. The town was for a long time a dependence of the monastery of San Giovanni in Lamis, then in 1578 the political center was moved to the town.

In the 18th century there was a remarkable demographic development, and in 1793 San Marco became a royal city. Economy and trade flourished, in spite of brigandage and the cholera epidemics of 1837, 1865, 1886. Local crafts, especially handicraft in iron, wood and gold, were greatly appreciated. The 20th century marked a gradual depopulation to the larger Italian cities and abroad, but recently the trend changed again thanks to tourism development. The emblem is a lion standing on 2 hills with the Book of Gospel in its claws, where the words "Pax tibi Marce Evangelista meus"; the lion represents St Mark the Gospelwriter.

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Province of Foggia

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