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Brindisi

Description

Brindisi is situated on the Salentina plain near to Adriatic Sea coastline, that opens into a large bay, a natural harbour since the Ancient Ages, which signed all the city's history. The port is a commercial center for naval trading between Greece, Albania, Turkey and the whole Eastern Regions of the Mediterranean.

A Pre-Roman city, a Messapi settlement in competition with Taranto for the supremacy over the seas in Southern Italy. If during the Ancient Greece Ages, Taranto had an important role, Brindisi was one of the most important ports of the Roman Empire.

From its harbour the Crusaders started their journey towards the Holy Land. Even Federico II di Svevia, commander of the VI Crusade, sailed from Brindisi and also married Isabella di Brienne in its Cathedral.
Not to forget, the city was proclaimed capital of the Kingdom of Italy between September 1943 and February 1944.

The emblem of the city are two Roman columns, which are dated to II century A.D. and sign the end of the Via Appia. In the Ancient Ages they were a naval reference point for the sailors. Of the two columns, only one remains and has been located on a staircase that overviews the actual port. It is more than 18 metres tall and still has its capital. Of the other column, ruined since 1528, only the base still exists, which donated to the city of Lecce, is today part of the column of Sant'Oronzo.

Between the historical monuments, worth of mention, is the Svevo Castle, known as Castello Grande, built by Federico II as his fortified residence. Also of major interest is the Aragon Castle, known as the Sea Fortress, built by the Aragons in 1491 on the small island in front of the port.

Not to miss: the Romanesque Cathedral and the Church of Santissima Trinità both of the XII century. Outside the fortified walls there is the Church of Santa Maria del Casale, a wonderful example of the changes of style from the Romanesque to the Gothic.

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