San Pietro Vernotico

According to popular tradition, the town was founded by the inhabitants of Valesio, an ancient Messapian city, destroyed by the Norman King, William the Malo. The survivors moved near the Basilian barn dedicated to San Pietro Apolsto, and they founded a village there. Only later will be introduced the word Vernotico, whose Latin root "ver" (Spring), suggests that Vernotico was referring to the special amenities of the area. Historical event still remembered today during the "Festival of the flag" is the victory against the Turks of Ahmed Pasha in 1480. When the invaders were rejected, they left on the battlefield a flag. Thanks to the fertility of agricultural land, the city has been the subject of immigration in the early twentieth century. The campaign of San Pietro Vernotico is characterized by the presence of olive trees, vineyards and sunflowers.

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Torchiarolo

Regarding the origin of the name Torchiarolo there are two theories. According to the first theory, the name derives from the Latin “torculum”, or press, in reference to the tool used in making wine and oil extraction. The territory is rich in vineyards and olive trees, which were the main resource of the village in ancient times. According to another theory the origin of the name would be linked to the war against the Turks, from which derives the term "punisher of Turks." Torchiarolo has ancient origins, was built as Messapian centre, by the inhabitants of the nearby Valesio, which was razed in 1157 by William the Malo, king of the Normans. The area was then conquered by the Angevins and Aragons. Torchiarolo in 1806 became a municipality belonging to the province of Lecce, with the edict of Joseph Napoleon, which abolished the feuds. It was only in 1927 that the city became part of the province of Brindisi

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Cellino San Marco

Cellino was founded by the Basilian monks in the early Middle Ages, whoin this region built a barn, around which grew a rural community. When the Basilian abandoned territories, the village changed many landowners. In 1578 the Albrizzi built the castle that Chyurlia expanded, transforming it into a true princely residence. The name "Cellino" derives from a small cell built by the monks in the village. While San Marco is the saint to whom are dedicated the religious cults of the community.

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Sandonaci

Originally a Messapian settlement, the village developed mainly thanks to the initiative of the Basilian monks, who settled in these territories because of iconoclastic persecution in the East. The Basilian favored the development of an agricultural community, gathering many of the faithful. Regarding the name, the word "Donaci" derives from the Greek “donax”, because of the swamps and marshes in the area. The village was a fief of the wife of Godfrey of Taranto, then move on to his son Tancredi, who donated it to the table archbishop. The countryside of Sandonaci, as well as that of San Pancrazio, is intensively cultivated with olive trees and vineyards.

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San Pancrazio Salentino

The territory of S. Pancrazio Salentino was already populated during the Messapian age, with a settlement subject to the same historical process of the neighbouring countries, becoming a Roman territory. With the fall of the empire it was conquered by the Goths, Byzantines and Lombards. Although the darkest period came with the attacks of the Saracens who knelt down the village, decimating the population. In order to encourage the repopulation of the area, the archbishop of Brindisi favoured the reconstruction of the village, also built by the baronial palace used as a summer residence by the archbishops of Brindisi. An event is still remembered: in 1547, the Turks stormed the city at night, making many prisoners inhabitants, which were then sold as slaves. The village then got the municipal autonomy in 1838. The name of the city is dedicated to the martyr Pancrazio, who lived under the reign of Diocletian.

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Mesagne

Mesagne has got Messapian origins, as evidenced by archaeological finds of funerary nature, dating between the sixth and third centuries BC, on which was then developing the medieval town. The origin of the name comes from the geographical position of the village, situated in the middle of the street that connected Oria to Brindisi and for this reason it was called Mesiana ( Greek ) and then Mediana ( Romans). From the Latin, it passed to the local dialect "Misciagna - Misciagni ." In Roman times here were built numerous rural villas, which were transformed into houses in the Medieval time. Mesagne then passed into the hands of the Byzantines after the fall of the Roman Empire. Just the Byzantines built the wall, while the original core of the castle was built by Robert Guiscard in order to protect the Appian Way. . The 1256 was a catastrophic year: the city was destroyed by the Saracens hired by Manfred, who, however, two years later rebuilt the village. which then passed to the Angevins and the Aragonese . Mesagne also had an active role in the Risorgimento, with the constitution of a Carbonari's group called “Messapi Liberi.”

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Latiano

Latiano was founded in the eleventh century A.C. when the Normans donated the lands of this area at the abbey church of Saint Andrew on the island of Brindisi. In order to encourage the population of the territory the Normans conceded to those who settled in the fledgling village exemption from payment of taxes. The village was then conquered by the Swabians, the Angevins and finally the Imperials who checked up to the Napoleonic period. After becoming a free commune, the city had to deal with the scourge of banditry, because of the ineptitude of the central government, headed by the Kingdom of Naples.

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Erchie

Erchie was founded by the Messapians of the nearby Oria with the aim of erecting a place to officiate their religion. The exact location is what is now the same as the shrine of Saint Lucia, built over the crypt in which the Basilian venerated the relics of the saint. It was only in the seventeenth century that around the sanctuary developed a real town, which became a fief of the Imperials, who gave the territories to the refugees from Caudia. Erchie experienced a period of crisis, especially after the unification of Italy, when the village fell prey to robbers.

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Torre Santa Susanna

The alleged origins of the city Torre Santa Susanna concern two different historical periods. According to some scholars, in the Middle Ages the village it was given to the Basilian monks who fled from their land because of the iconoclastic persecutions. According to other scholars, instead, the origins are more remote and are to be found in the Messapian age. During this period, the village would be born by the will of Oria, aiming to get a new barn. In fact, the name "Torre" derives from the Latin Turris, in reference to the tower of the barn used for the storage of grain, however, this hypothesis is not supported by any archaeological evidence. The theory of its medieval origin is the one that remains the most plausible. The village was named after the saint to whom the chapel was dedicated, and around which developed the town. While the word "Torre" was added after the construction of the same building by the Angevins in 1378. Tower struck in 1823 for structural failure and rebuilt in 1837 with a spire containing the statue of the saint.

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San Michele Salentino

San Michele Salentino is a young town, founded in the early twentieth century by Michele Dentex Frasso, Prince of S. Vito dei Normanni, who distributed the land among the peasants who lived in S. Vito. The village was founded under the name of New Farm in 1929 and transformed its name to the present one, after obtaining the municipal autonomy. The name Michael is both a tribute to the Prince that the holy founder of reference. The adjective Salentino is used instead to distinguish it from other towns of the same name.

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Oria

The current town stands on the Messapian Yria mentioned by Strabo in his writings, referring to the town, as the seat of princely palaces. The territory, however, was already inhabited in the Neolithic period, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds relating to prehistoric tools of the period. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Oria ( in Greek Yria ), was founded by the Cretans, who would came to these shores, having been shipwrecked in a storm, while they were going to Sicily. Oria, because of its strategic importance, being a town situated on a hill, had a great military importance, so much so that during the reign of Messapians, it was able to beat its own currency. Also according to Strabo, in Oria was located the palace of the Messapian princes. With the Roman conquest, Oria lost some of its shine, but gaining from architectural point of view since the Romans settled there many rural villas, thanks to the favourable climate and fertile land. With the fall of the Roman Empire the city was conquered first by the Goths, then by the Greeks, Lombards and Normans, who rebuilt much of the town, building defensive walls. The territory then passed under the control of the Swabians and according to tradition was at this time, around 1219 that St. Francis of Assisi lived in Oria, returning from a trip to Syria, and personally directing the construction of the Franciscan convent. At the beginning of the fourteenth century Oria came under the control of the Orsini del Balzo and then it was sold to the Imperials who ruled until the end of the eighteenth century, when the city became a part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies before and, in 1860, the Kingdom of 'Italy then. The campaign is particularly fertile and this has allowed the proliferation of numerous crops: olive trees, vineyards, rows of tomatoes, green beans and potatoes.

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Villa Castelli

Villa Castelli has medieval origins, it was built as a farm by the Imperials, who had established their own fiefdom in the neighboring Francavilla Fontana. The village was called " Li Castelli", from the Latin word castellum which means township- village. The area on which stands the present town boasted a human presence in prehistoric times, particularly in the Neolithic period. According to a local legend, Villa Castelli would have been used by the Romans after the defeat of the Messapians, as a colony for veterans. Between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century the village was one of the great estates of the territory, here the Imperials placed a horse farm. As the last of the Imperial died without heirs, the territories of Villa Castelli were sold and purchased by the Duke of Monteiasi, Gioacchino Ungaro, who aimed to transform the village into a real town: so was built a church and divided the territory between the inhabitants of Ceglie and Grottaglie interested in the land. It was only in the nineteenth century that " Li- Castelli", changed its name to Villa Castelli, where " Villa " comes from the French “villas”, which means precisely town. The campaign of Villa Castelli is particularly flat and is suitable for the cultivation of intensive type. The olive trees alternate with vineyards and fruit growing.

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