The Porta d'Oriente
Brindisi has been known since ancient times as the Porta d’Oriente since it became an important landing place for the Roman troops first, and for the merchants of the Serenissima later. A port that, even today, records important tourist and merchant connections to and from countries beyond the sea.
It is part of the cultural area of the region Apulia called Salento and it is located in the plain, between the Salento plain and the Valle d’Itria which is 40 kilometers north of the city. The city is crossed by the royal canal that flows into natural reserve Torre Guaceto. Here is also the international airport, the Salento airport, just a few kilometers from the historic center. There are also the railway and the tourist port which make Brindisi the most connected city in the south of the Apulia Region.
The main symbol, as well as the oldest in the city, are the two Roman columns dating back to the 2nd century AD, located at the port of Brindisi. Among the other symbols of the city we remember the Monument to the Sailor, known among the residents as “the monument” a structure in the shape of a tiller about 53 meters high that stands out on the port of Brindisi at a height of 68 meters above sea level. Above it are engraved the names of the sailors who fell in the two world wars.
A visit to the city of Brindisi starts from its beautiful old town. This central area, rich in monuments and history, is located within the Aragonese walls, built in the 15th century. The most important testimonies to note in the historic center are the Bastione di San Giacomo and the Bastione di Levante, the Torrione erected by Charles V and several Renaissance buildings such as the Palazzo Granafei – Nervegna.
In Piazza Duomo there is an interesting architecture dating back to the 12th century, the Portico dei Templari, a portico characterized by two arches, a marble column, and the valuable polychrome cross vaults, probably used as an Archbishop’s Palace. Another impressive architecture is the one found in the Loggia of Palazzo Balsamo, also located in Via Duomo and dating back to the 14th century.
The territory of Brindisi offers a rich historical and cultural heritage, linked to art, folklore, crafts and traditions. The most famous towns are: Cisternino, Ceglie Messapica, Carovigno, Ostuni and Cellino San Marco.
Gastronomy is rich in fish and vegetables of all kinds, such as artichokes, asparagus, tomatoes, etc. In main courses, you find a lot of homemade pasta such as orecchiette with a sauce of clams or mussels or more traditionally with turnip tops is much used. Another typical dish of the area is the pan composed of rice, mussels and potato.