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Fasano

Description

The history of Fasano, nice town a few kilometres from the sea, surrounded by ancient olive trees, trulloes, fortified farms and typical short dry walls, originated in the destruction of Egnazia and the migration of many inhabitants of coastal towns who, in a desperate effort to escape the pirate raids and find a safer place to live, scrambled up the hills to form hamlets and villages. The first hub of a town, the hamlet of Santa Maria of Fajano, dates back to 1088.
Its name probably derives from the "Faso", a large colombus dove (also represented on the civic coat of arms) which drunk from the swamp, formed from the small rivers which flowed down from the surrounding hills.
The town is famous above all for the largest Zoo safari in Italy, in the protected environment of which live around 1,000 animals of 40 species.In the vicinity of Fasano, one can visit the archaeological digs of Egnazia, the ancient Messapian town of prehistoric origins that once stood beside the via Traiana.
Matrice church, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, in the centre of the old town, is a fine example of late-Renaissance architecture. Another monument of historical-artistic interest is the Arch of the Knight leading to Baliale palace, now restructured and the current residence of the town hall.
The municipality also abounds in ancient farms. Centres of independent life, self-sufficient in terms of personal needs and able to trade any surplus produce, the farms have been preserved over the ages; some have developed into tourist centres or, in the case of the S. Angelo de' Graecis farm, with an olive oil museum, into veritable centres of culture.

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