FOGGIA

Capital of the homonymous province, Foggia is situated in the heart of the Tavoliere delle Puglie (Apulian Table) and its name derives from the Latin “fovea,” meaning “pit” and referring to the natural valley where it is positioned.

Even though the territory of Foggia was inhabited since Neolithic times by a population dedicated to agriculture, its modern origins are connected to the arrival of the Normans in Puglia at the beginning of the 11th Century.
Of particular interest is that the City is situated near a marshy area, where some shepherds found the Sacro Tavolo della Madonna dei Sette Veli (Sacred Tablet of the Madonna of Seven Veils containing three burning flames), which maybe was once located in Arpi. It was immersed in the marsh, where monks may have hidden to escape iconoclastic destruction during the 7th Century, and was wrapped in seven veils and taken to a nearby tavern in Gufo.
The Norman Robert Guiscard then gave instructions for the reclamation of the marshes and Guglielmo il Buono (William the Good) ordered that the Cathedral be built (1172-1179) to venerate the sacred image.
The event of the Swabians marked an important step for Foggia, in that Federick II had the magnificent Ducal Palace built in 1223 (of which hardly anything remains) and the defensive City walls; walls which were destroyed by him a few years later on his return from the sixth crusade because the City was hostile against him.
The Angioini succeeded the Swabians in the 13th Century.
Foggia, for its geographic position, had its destiny and fortune linked to the transhumance of sheep. In fact, during Aragonese domination (15th Century), Palazzo Dogana, a customs building for sheep, was installed which levied a tax for all shepherds in arrival from Tavoliere delle Puglie (Apulian Table).
During the war, which saw the Spanish against the French, at the beginning of the 16th Century, the City lined up against the first mentioned and was besieged and plundered by the same French troops (1528).
Over the centuries, the City also suffered destruction due to seismic events (1456, 1534, 1627, 1731).
With the arrival of the Bourbons (1734), Foggia enjoyed a period of economic development, thanks to agriculture and beginning from the 19th Century, land which was once dedicated to sheep farming, also became available.
The echo of French Republican ideals, brought to Italy by Bonaparte in 1799, gave “life” to Italian unification, which the City joined in with its participation in revolutionary clashes in 1820 and 1848.
In 1861, the City passed into the territory of the Kingdom of Italy.
During the Second World War, the City was bombarded by alliance forces and heavily damaged from an city-plan point of view.
There are many places of interest to visit in the City beginning with the Cathedral (12th Century, later restored in the 18th Century), the Chiesa delle Croci (Church of Crosses), the Three Arches of Porta Arpana, the Arch of Federick II and the Archaeological Park of Passo di Corvo.
The buildings worth mentioning are: Palazzo Dogana and Palazzo delle Poste. A visit to the splendid Villa Comunale, one of the largest gardens in Italy, is also recommended.

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FOGGIA
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Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy

 

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