Brindiscover will guide you in exploring Brindisi through an itinerary which discloses curiosities, charming places to capture in a snapshot and historical and artistic treasures.
The central square houses the De Torres Fountain which was built in 1618 by levying taxes from the rich in order to make water available inside the town walls. The marble stem shows engraved ornaments like the coat of arms, with a shield and three helmets, of King Philip III of Spain. As you can see, it was left incomplete. The marble basin is a baptismal font of the 12th century, whose origins are uncertain. We only know that it was reused in the building of the fountain.
The square is better known to the locals as “Giardinetti” (small gardens) and is one of the busiest crossing points for tourists visiting Brindisi. Besides the olive trees, the symbolic tree of the territory, here you will find the statue of Virgil, who died in Brindisi in 19 BC not far from this place. The marble sculpture represents the contrast between war and peace, good and evil, through the use of symbols such as Nike, the helmet, the olive tree, the horse and the lamb.
The harbour of Brindisi has the shape of a deer’s head and this morphology gives the town its name. The natural inlet has been a safe port for seamen since the times of the Ancient Romans and it consists of the East Cove and the West Cove. Since 1870 the harbour had been a port of call along the Indian Mail Route, the British shipping company which connected London to Bombay. If you want to try to sail on the calm waters of the port take a trip on the “motorboat” shuttle service where a photo of the Aragonese Castle at sunset is a must!
Symbol of the town, they were erected with a purpose of celebration, not, as one might think, to mark the end of the Roman Appian Way. Today we admire only one of the two columns, the other one was donated to the town of Lecce in 1528 in honour of Saint Orontius. The restored original capital is displayed in the main hall of Nervegna Palace. Virgil’s Staircase is one of the most representative panoramic landmarks in Brindisi. On the right side a plaque commemorates the house in which Virgil died. The poet’s last wish was to burn the incomplete Aeneid, but luckily, his request was disregarded.
If you want to enjoy a breath-taking view overlooking the harbour, this is the place you can’t miss visiting! From the square, you can admire the west cove the Fishermen’s Village and the “Sciabiche” area. Don’t forget to enter the church: typical example of Baroque architecture, rich in precious paintings and enriched by an evocative frescoed ceiling. Within this cult place there is the “Giovanni Tarantini” Diocesan Museum, home to priceless treasures.
An important example of Gothic architecture dating back to 1322, but also a place of worship for all the town, the church rises between the historic centre and the harbour. From these ancient and precious walls, you can breathe history and unveil legends like that of the statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception who is said to have saved the town from the earthquake in 1743. The worshippers, after the deadly event, found the sculpture facing the stairway, with its arms open as if to stop the earthquake.
If you stop off at the church of the 11thcentury, you will be able to visit the ancient monastic structure where the Benedictine nuns lived, you will be able to admire a number of ancient statues (Our Lady of the Snow and a Neapolitan Nativity Scene from the 1700s), a priceless medieval cloister and some ruins from Roman times. The treasures preserved in St. Benedict’s church are countless: take a closer look at the interweavings and the small animals reproduced on the portal to perceive the beauty and the historic and artistic richness of this place. Follow your nose! In close proximity, there is an ancient stone oven.
The Temple of St. John at the Sepulchre is a reproduction of the shrine of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, dating back to the 11th century. The building was a place of worship for pilgrims on their pilgrimage towards the Holy Land and to this day it is one of the most popular places with tourists who make a stop in Brindisi. The temple hides symbols and interpretations able to create a mysterious atmosphere. Observe the façade, the circular internal structure, the frescoes with the saints, the garden, the remains of Roman times. Every detail deserves to be photographed!
In Roman times, the archaeological site of “San Pietro degli Schiavoni” was a very busy area thanks to the presence of a large street, baths and many workshops. Nowadays, it is no less important: the same area hosts The New Verdi Theatre, one of the largest suspended theatres in Europe, also a cultural and community gathering place of the town. Inside the theatre, it is possible to see the Roman remains from above thanks to the glass floor which enhances 2000 years of history preserved beneath the theatre.
Absolutely a place to visit for so many reasons but especially for its history, architecture, archaeological Roman findings and art exhibitions. But one of the main reasons to pay a visit to the building is the presence of the “Column Hall” where the original capital, one of the symbols of the town, is preserved. Observe the mythological creatures depicted on the capital and spot the mighty Neptune! Carefully look at the facade where you can read Latin inscriptions aimed at encouraging you to live well but also at scaring the illiterate with formulas thought to be magical because incomprehensible.
The Basilica of St. John the Baptist was completed in 1143 and it has witnessed important historical events like Roger III’s coronation and Frederick II’s marriage to Isabella of Brienne. Inside you can observe awooden choir, a rich mosaic and the chapel of St. Theodore. If you are in Brindisi at the beginning of September, don’t miss the sea procession as a sign of devotion to St. Theodore and St. Lawrence, patron saints of the town. In the opposite square, you can admire the “Loggia Balsamo” and visit the Archbishop’s Library or the Ribezzo Provincial Museum.
It is impossible not to notice the huge helm standing above the harbour. The odd building, which reminds the most imaginative people of a seated cat, was built in 1932. If you want to visit the Monument, you can take the ferry from the town centre to the Fishermen’s Village. Walking along the dock, you arrive at the square below which houses a charming small church. The best part is when you get to the top of the Monument from where you can enjoy a breath-taking view overlooking the harbour and the centre of town. Don’t forget to take your souvenir photo!