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Brindisi, Italy

Brindisi is a city in the region of Apulia in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Historically, the city has played an important role in trade and culture, due to its strategic position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city remains a major port for trade with Greece and the Middle East. Brindisi's most flourishing industries include agriculture, chemical works, and the generation of electricity.


Brindisi is situated on a natural harbor, which penetrates deeply into the Adriatic coast of Apulia. Within the arms of the outer harbor islands is Pedagne, a tiny archipelago, currently not open and in use for military purposes (United Nations Group Schools used during the intervention in Bosnia). The entire municipality is part... Read more

Brindisi, Italy


Brindisi is a city in the region of Apulia in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Historically, the city has played an important role in trade and culture, due to its strategic position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city remains a major port for trade with Greece and the Middle East. Brindisi's most flourishing industries include agriculture, chemical works, and the generation of electricity.


Brindisi is situated on a natural harbor, which penetrates deeply into the Adriatic coast of Apulia. Within the arms of the outer harbor islands is Pedagne, a tiny archipelago, currently not open and in use for military purposes (United Nations Group Schools used during the intervention in Bosnia). The entire municipality is part of the Brindisi Plain, characterized by high agricultural uses of its land. It is located in the northeastern part of the Salento plains, about 40 kilometers (25 mi) from the Itria Valley, and the low Murge. Not far from the city is the Natural Marine Reserve of the World Wide Fund for Nature of Torre Guaceto. The Ionian Sea is about 45 kilometers (28 mi) away.


The territory of Brindisi is characterized by a wide flat area from which emerge sub deposits of limestone and sand of marine origin, which in turn have a deeper level clay of the Pleistocene era and an even later Mesozoic carbonate composed of limestone and soils. The development of agriculture has caused an increase in the use of water resources resulting in an increase of indiscriminate use.


Brindisi enjoys a Mediterranean climate.


Ancient times

There are several traditions concerning its founders; one of them claims that it was founded by the legendary hero Diomedes.
Brindisi was an Ancient Greek settlement predating the Roman expansion. The Latin name Brundisium comes from the Greek Brentesion (Βρεντήσιον) meaning "deer's head," which refers to the shape of the natural harbor. In 267 BC (245 BC, according to other sources) it was conquered by the Romans. In the promontory of the Punta lands, which is located in the outer harbor have been identified as a Bronze Age village (16th century BC) where a group of huts, protected by an embankment of stones, yielded fragments of Mycenaean pottery. Herodotus spoke of the Mycenaean origin for these populations. The necropolis of Tor Pisana (south of the old town of Brindisi) returned Corinthian jars in the first half of the 7th century BC. The Brindisi Messapia certainly entertained strong business relationships with the opposite side of the Adriatic and the Greek populations of the Aegean Sea.
After the Punic Wars, it became a major center of Roman naval power and maritime trade. In the Social War, it received Roman citizenship and was made a free port by Sulla. It suffered, however, from a siege conducted by Caesar in 49 BC (Bell. Civ. i.) and was again attacked in 42 and 40 BC.
The poet Pacuvius was born here about 220 BC, and here the famous poet Virgil died in 19 BC. Under the Romans, Brundisium – a large city in its day with some 100,000 inhabitants – was an active port, the chief point of embarkation for Greece and the East, via Dyrrachium or Corcyra. It was connected with Rome by the Via Appia and the Via Traiana. The termination of the

Via Appia

, at the water's edge, was formerly flanked by two fine pillars. Only one remains, the second having been misappropriated and removed to the neighboring town of



Middle Ages and modern times

Later Brindisi was conquered by Ostrogoths, and reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century CE. In 674 it was destroyed by the Lombards led by Romuald I of Benevento, but such a fine natural harbor meant that the city was soon rebuilt. In the 9th century, a Saracen settlement existed in the neighborhood of the city, which had been stormed in 836 by pirates.
In 1070, it was conquered by the Normans and became part of the Principality of Taranto and the Duchy of Apulia, and was the first rule of the Counts of Conversano and then, after the baronial revolt of 1132, city-owned by the will of Roger II of Sicily, the city recovered some of the splendor of the past during the period of the Crusades, when it regained the Episcopal See, saw the construction of the new cathedral and a castle with an important new arsenal, became a privileged port for the Holy Land. It was in the cathedral of Brindisi that the wedding of Norman Prince Roger III of Sicily took place, son of King Tancred of Sicily. Emperor Frederick II, the heir to the crown of Jerusalem and Isabella of Brienne ( 9 November 1225 ), started from the port of Brindisi in 1227 for the Sixth Crusade Like other Pugliese ports, Brindisi for a short while was ruled by Venice but was soon reconquered by Spain.
A plague and an earthquake struck the city, in 1348 and 1456.
Brindisi fell to Austrian rule in 1707–1734, and afterward to the Bourbons. Between September 1943 and February 1944 the city functioned as the temporary capital of Italy.
Brindisi is also noteworthy because it hosted King Victor Emmanuel III, Pietro Badoglio and a part of the Italian armed forces command in September 1943 after the armistice with Italy.
In the 21st century, Brindisi serves as the home base of the San Marco Regiment, a marine brigade originally known as the La Marina Regiment. It was renamed San Marco after its noted defense of Venice at the start of World War I.

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Brindisi, Italy: Port Information

Cruise ships dock very close to the historic center of the town (just in a few minutes walk).

The port of Brindisi has always been at the center of trade with Greece. It is one of the most important commercial and industrial seaports on the Adriatic Sea. 

Get around Brindisi, Italy

By Ferry

You can use the ferry services from Brindisi to Greece.

If you have not bought the ferry ticket online, you can buy it from an office very close to the train station (exact address required). They will also give you a map to find the embarkation place for ferries. Remember to show your EU-rail pass, if you have any, to get a discount. They will also call Youth Hostel to pick you up if you arrive in the morning and want to leave in the afternoon or you want to stay over the night.

What to see in Brindisi, Italy

Main sights
  • The Castello Svevo or Castello Grande ("Hohenstaufen Castle" or "Large Castle"), built by Emperor Frederick II. It has a trapezoid plan with massive square towers. Under the Crown of Aragon, four towers were added to the original 13th-century structure. After centuries of being abandoned, in 1813 Joachim Murat turned it into a prison; after 1909 it was used by the Italian Navy. During World War II it was briefly the residence of King Victor Emmanuel III.
  • The Aragonese Castle, best known as Forte a Mare ("Sea Fort"). It was built by King Ferdinand I of Naples in 1491 on the S. Andrea island facing the port. It is divided into two sections: the "Red Castle" (from the color of its bricks) and the more recent Fort.
  • Two ancient Roman columns, symbols of Brindisi. They were once thought to mark the ending points of the Appian Way. Instead, they were used as a port reference for the antique mariners. Only one of the two, standing at 18.74 meters (61.5 ft), is still visible. The other crumbled in 1582, and the ruins were given to Lecce to hold the statue of Saint Oronzo (Lecce's patron) because Saint Oronzo was reputed to have cured the plague in Brindisi.
  • The Duomo (cathedral), built in Romanesque style in the 11th–12th centuries. What is visible today is the 18th-century reconstruction, after the original was destroyed by an earthquake on 20 February 1743. Parts of the original mosaic pavement can be seen in the interior.
  • Church of Santa Maria del Casale (late 13th century), in Gothic-Romanesque style. The façade has a geometrical pattern of gray and yellow stones, with an entrance cusp-covered portico. The interior has early-14th-century frescoes including, in the counter-façade, a Last Judgement in four sections, by Rinaldo da Taranto. They are in late-Byzantine style.
  • Church of San Benedetto, in Romanesque style. Perhaps built before the 11th century as part of a Benedictine nunnery, it has a massive bell tower with triple-mullioned windows and Lombard bands. A side portal is decorated with 11th-century motifs, while the interior has a nave covered by cross vaults, while the aisles, separated by columns with Romanesque capitals, have half-barrel vaults. The cloister (11th century) has decorated capitals.
  • Portico of the Templars (13th century). Despite the name, it was in reality the loggia of the bishop's palace. It is now the entrance to the Museo Ribezzo.
  • the Fontana Grande (Grand Fountain), built by the Romans on the Appian Way. It was restored in 1192 by Tancred of Lecce.
  • Piazza della Vittoria (Victory Square). It has a 17th-century fountain.
  • Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (1609).
  • Church of the Sacred Heart.
  • Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro, with a circular plan, dating from the 12th century.
  • Church of the Santissima Trinità (or Santa Lucia, 14th century). It has a late 12th-century crypt.
  • the Monument to Italian Sailors

Natural areas

Within the territory of the town of Brindisi environmental protected areas are located, some newly established:
  • The Regional Natural Park of Punta della Contessa Salt: wetland of 87 hectares (214 acres) between Capo di Torre Cavallo and Punta della Contessa
  • The Regional Nature Reserve Forest Cerano: a protected natural area that falls within the territory of Brindisi and San Pietro Vernotico;
  • The Regional Nature Reserve Bosco of Santa Teresa and Lucci: it is a protected natural area composed of two forests whose name it bears. With the EU Directive 92/43 EEC was included in the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) ;
  • The Marine Nature Reserve Guaceto Tower: falling mostly in the municipality of Carovigno, are managed by a consortium which includes the municipalities of Brindisi, Carovigno, and the WWF.

The "F. Ribezzo" Provincial Archaeological Museum is located in Piazza Duomo and has many large rooms, providing visitors with six sections: epigraphy, sculpture, the antiquarium, prehistoric, coins, medieval, modern and bronzes of Punta del Serrone. The Giovanni Tarantini Diocesan Museum is newly established and is housed in the Palazzo del Seminario. It has a collection of paintings, statues, ornaments and vestments from the churches of the diocese. Particularly important is the silver embossed Ark that has the remains of St Theodore of Amasea and a 7th-century pitcher, in which one can recognize the wedding at Cana. The Ethnic Salento Agrilandia Museum of Civilization offers tourists the chance to see many statues of wood and stone. It also features agriculture and interesting tools with the rural culture.

What to do in Brindisi, Italy

In July there's a typical music festival in Melpignano near Lecce where you hear the famous "Pizzica".

Visit the Gargano National Park and the Tremiti islands.

Take a bike tour along the coast. Apulia has an extensive network of small country lanes making it ideal for biking.

From June to September, the coast constitutes an attraction of its own, with clear see-through waters and some top-end beaches, particularly so in the southern part of the peninsula, in the litorali of Lecce province.

Lecce is a city packed with beautiful baroque buildings, churches and villas, built with a local stone at a time when the city served as refugee shelter for aristocratic families from all over Italy. Consider spending a day or two wandering around its peculiar streets, exploring the local cuisine and nightlife.

What to eat and drink in Brindisi, Italy


There are some lovely places to eat in Casalini near Cisternino, which are reasonably priced compared to the tourist city of Ostuni. These are la terraza del Quadrafoglio, La Piazzetta, and Locanda.

Brindisi's cuisine is simple with ingredients used, starting with flour or unrefined barley, which is less expensive than wheat. Vegetables, snails, and bluefish figure prominently into its cuisine. Among the recipes are worth mentioning in particular "Pettole"(fried yeast dough, sweet or savory to taste stuffed maybe with cod or anchovy, cauliflower or broccoli), "Patani tajedda rice and mussels" (rice, potatoes and mussels), soup, fish, mashed potatoes with fava beans, broad beans and mussels, and "Racana mussels".

Beverages, spirits, liquors
Almond milk: made by infusing water with the finely chopped almonds and then squeezing the same to expel the "milk." The region of Apulia has entered the milk of almonds in its list of traditional Italian food products. Limoncello: a liquor made from the peel of fresh lemons and enriched with water, sugar, and alcohol.

In the area of Brindisi are produced Aleatico di Puglia Doc, Ostuni Doc, Brindisi Rosso DOC, Rosato Brindisi DOC and Puglia IGT.[20] Some grape varieties grown in Brindisi include:
  • Malvasia Nera di Brindisi,
  • Negroamaro;
  • Ottavianello;
  • Sangiovese;
  • Susumaniello.
The Brindisi DOC produces both red and rose wines from grapes limited to a harvest yield of 15 tonnes/ha and must produce wine with a minimum 12% alcohol level. The wines are usually blends made predominantly from Negaroamaro and Malvasia Nera, but Sangiovese is allowed to compose up to 10% of the blend with Montepulciano allowed to compose up to another 20% (or 30% if Sangiovese is not included). If it is to be a Reserva, the wine has aged a minimum of 2 years before release and must attain a minimum alcohol level of 12.5%.


Despite making up one single region, Apulia has a stunning variety of local cuisine and delicacies. The area of Bari is particularly famous for its pasta, especially orecchiette, whereas the area of Lecce, Salento, offers some exquisite pastries and rustico, a disc of baked phillo-dough stuffed with tomato sauce, cheese, ham and black pepper, somehow resembling Balkan burek. On the same line, another popular street food, common in Lecce and Taranto, is local calzone, which can be found baked or deep-fried.

In general, Apulians have a preference for fish and sea food, as a consequence of being sandwiched between two seas, but meat-based dishes (based on lamb, pork, beef or horse) are also present.

Vegetarians won't have a hard time fittin in Apulia, as the region is traditionally an enthusiastic consumer of dishes based on legumes, potatoes, vegetables and different kinds of salad, mostly made of fresh local ingredients.

Kebab places and international restaurants have also appeared in recent years.

All over the region, you can taste good wine. Not to be missed, Primitivo of Manduria.

Some of the things you may want to try:
  • Orecchiette al ragu' di carne
  • Orecchiette alle cime di rapa
  • Cicoria con la purea di fave
  • Cavatelli con le cozze (type of pasta with mussels)
  • Risotto ai frutti di mare
  • Riso patate e cozze
  • Municeddhri (snails)
  • Ciceri e tri (thick gravy of chickpeas and pasta)
  • Friselle (hard bread-ish dough dipped in water and sprinkled with tomatoes and olive oil)

Shopping in Brindisi, Italy

  • Valle d'Itria International Music Festival, Martina Franca. Mid-July through early August  edit
  • local specialties like olive oil, orecchiette, burrata, wine and taralli
  • handicrafts include terracotta jars and tamburello, a percussive instrument used in local dance, "tarantella" or "pizzica".

Safety in Brindisi, Italy

The region is definitely a safe place to visit.

Language spoken in Brindisi, Italy

Italian is the language spoken natively by most Italians. The Brindisi dialect is a variant of Salentino and, although there are minor differences between the various municipalities, the root remains unchanged. It is spoken not only in Brindisi, but in some towns of the province of Taranto. The Brindisi also affects some dialects north of Lecce in the south.

English is spoken at varied levels of proficiency in the well-traveled touristic areas where it may be used by shopkeepers and tourist operators. If you are going to speak in English, try beginning the conversation in Italian and asking in Italian if the person understands English before proceeding.


2:15 am
September 22, 2019


20.76 °C / 69.368 °F
sky is clear

23.41 °C/74 °F
few clouds

25.47 °C/78 °F
moderate rain

22.35 °C/72 °F
scattered clouds

22.31 °C/72 °F
light rain



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