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Mesagne, Province of Brindisi, Puglia

mesagne coatofarms Situated in the Salento hinterland at 40 km from the Ionian sea and 15 km from the Adriatic along the ancient Roman Via Appia, it is a town rich in art, especially of the Baroque period. The economy relies mainly on tourism and the cultivation of olives and grapes.

Info

  • Altitude: 72 a.s.l
  • Population: about 28,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 72023
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0831
  • Patron Saint: Madonna del Carmine, celebrated on 16 July

History

It was already a center of importance of the Messapian populations that inhabited the area since the 12th century BC, but decayed in Roman times and was subsequently destroyed in the age of invasions. A revival began under the Normans in the 12th century AD, and in the 15th century if was a fiefdom of the Taranto princes.

What to see

  • The Norman-Swabian Castle, built in 1062 by Robert, destroyed by Manfred of Swabia in the mid-13th century, rebuilt in the early 15th century by Giannantonio Del Balzo Orsini, who added the still extant square tower, The castle is presently the seat of an Archeological Museum and a center for many cultural events
  • The church of Santissima Annunziata, built on an eight-sided plan in the 18th century, on a previous smaller church whose ancient Veronica Portal is still extant
  • The church of Mater Domini, with a dome and greek cross plan, a renaissance construction with the dome covered of Majolica multi-colored tiles
  • A necropolis of the Messapian period (11th century BC) which is currently being excavated in the historical center of the town.

Where to stay