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San Pietro Vernotico, Province of Brindisi, Puglia

San Pietro Vernotico coatofarms Situated in the heart of Salento not too far away from the province capital Brindisi, it is a center of history and traditions, as well as great cuisine, among them the exquisite "pittule", soft pancakes traditionally prepared on 8 December for the celebrations of the Immacolata.

Info

  • Altitude: 38 a.s.l
  • Population: about 15,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code:72027
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0831
  • Patron Saint: Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated on 29 June

History

The town rose in the 9th century AD around the basilian monastery dedicated to St Peter, in an area which was called Vernotico (meaning "winterly"). The most famous event in its history took place in 1480: the Turkish army led by Akmet Pasha was aiming at the conquest of the town, but they were sighted from the Tower, the alarm was given and the inhabitants defeated the Turks also capturing their flag, which was consecrated to Saint Peter.

What to see

  • The square Tower, built in the 12th century by the Normans, and originally surrounded by a ditch and accessible through a bridge
  • The 15th century parish church, with a fine rosewindow in the facade
  • A little outside from the town, the magnificent Villa Valletta, a mansion built with the beautiful construction materials of Apulia, the Lecce and Trani stones and the "carparo", with its typical golden color.

Events and Festivities

  • Sunday after Easter, the traditional Asta della Bandiera, a historical re-enactement with costume parade, during which the standard captured feom the Turkish invaders is carried before the church of St. Peter and an auction for it is held; on the same day there is also a palio called Giostra della Papara, where knights compete to take rings held from a puppet called "papara" (=duck).

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