PARABITA

Parabita is situated in the province of Lecce on a territory of natural Karst formation, dotted with caves and not too distant from the Ionic Coast.

Its territory was inhabited since Palaeolithic times and the subsequent Bronze Age, as demonstrated by finds carried out in the Mazzuchi Grotto. But the most ancient treasures found in Parabita are the so called Veneri of Parabita, small female statues sculptured out of oxen or horse bones, dating back 12.000 years ago.
The Messapian Bovota was the ancient town nucleus, which then became Roman (3rd Century BC, and was destroyed by the Saracens in 927 AD). The superstitious inhabitants therefore founded Parabita a few kilometres further South.
Coins have been found on the territory which testify to the wealth of Bavota during the Republic of Rome period (88 BC), which permitted the minting of coinage.
It passed under Norman rule (11th Century), then Swabian (13th Century) and Angioini (13th-14th Centuries), who had the Castle built. Parabita was administered by various feudatories, among which the Sanseverino Family (14th Century), the Caris Family (15th Century) and the Orsini Del Balzo Family, who managed it until 1528 when, after the battle between the French (supported by the Orsini’s) and the Spanish, it became a Regio Demanio (Royal Property).
It was acquired in 1536 by Pirro Castriota and subsequently passed to the Ferrari Family at the beginning of the 18th Century, then finally merged into the Reign of Italy in 1861.
One can visit the beautiful Aragonese Castle in Parabita, which was modified, and then in subsequent centuries mainly by the feudatory Castriota Family beginning in 1536.
Among the civil buildings we would like to mention: Palazzo Veneziani, in memory of a brief domination by Venice (end of ‘500s), Palazzo Ferrari, Palazzo Vinci and Palazzo Castriota.
The Cathedral is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and was built on the site of a more ancient building.

PARABITA
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Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy

 

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