UGENTO

An inhabited centre in the Salento peninsular, in the area facing the Ionian Sea, is where one will find Ugento immersed in land cultivated with olives and vineyards.

It was a Messapian centre called Ozan, founded at the end of the Bronze Age (XV Century BC). The presence of man on its territory however, is testified at the end of the High Palaeolithic period (14.000 years ago) in the villages of Bocca, Pozzo Zecca and Cesira. From Neolithic times, there is the Menhir of Terenzano and finds uncovered in the grottos of Artanisi and Don Cirillo.
The centre enjoyed its maximum splendour with the Messapians, as shown by the extension of the Ciclopiche Walls (Cyclopean Walls - 9 kms long, of which 5kms are still preserved) and the fact that Ugento minted its own currency.
During this era, the City became one of the principal ports of the Mediterranean and crucial node for merchandise exchange via ship.
Beginning in the VI Century BC, a process of Hellenisation began with customs geared to the rise of the powerful Greek colony of Taranto; with which the Messapians were frequently at war and often victorious.
Faced with the newborn power of Rome, the two enemies became allies as the Greek-Messapian League, and called Pirro, King of Epiro, to face the Romans. The King brought back weak victories, which became proverbial but saw his early return home, leaving freedom to the Romans (270 BC).
Devotion to the new power could not have been immediate however, if the arrival of the leader Hannibal in Puglia saw the population’s support of this invader (end of III Century BC). For this reason, it was harshly punished by Rome, which anyhow later granted the status of Municipium to the City after the Civil Wars (82 BC).
The end of the Empire brought devastation through Visigoth and Vandal invasions and Ugento was also destroyed by the Ostrogoths in 545 during clashes with the Byzantines of Belisario (535-553).
It was conquered by the Byzantines (553) and suffered weak political administration, favouring Eastern territories at the expense of Puglia.
In ‘842 and 924, it was besieged and plundered by the Saracens.
The arrival of the Normans coincided with the siege and conquest of Ugento. The new nobles saw construction of the Castle on the site of the previous Roman Castle in ruins.
Ugento passed firstly under the Swabians (1194) and then the Angioini (1269), which saw its economic decline that lasted for centuries.
In 1430 it was destroyed through orders from Queen Giovanni II of Naples.
The 4th August 1537, saw the City become a victim of Turkish attack from the sea. In defence, the Spanish sovereigns decided to erect numerous lookout towers, which today still characterise the territory and coast of Salento.
The coastal area suffered a process of submersion, determining its abandonment by the population, who moved further inland to higher ground.
Ugento was then owned by numerous nobles until the abolition of feudality in 1806.
Ugento is dominated by its Castle with a trapezoidal plan (XIII Century, then re-adjusted during the ‘700s) and by a beautiful Cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption (1745, later rebuilt after destruction by the Turks).
The Benedictine Monastery (‘500s), S. Anthony of Padua (‘400s) and the Madonna of the Light Sanctuary (1576), complete the visit to the main religious monuments of Ugento.
From the City’s old splendour, one can admire the Messapian Walls and the Acropolises, first nucleus of the City.
There are two buildings worth mentioning and visiting in the City: Palazzo Gigli and Palazzo Colosso, which hosts a collection of archaeological finds.
Outside the City, one can enjoy an interesting visit to the Basilican church of Santa Maria del Casale (XII Century).

UGENTO
Art City

Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy

 

City Guide
art profile

Travel in Ugento
Ugento hotels

 

Art Cities in Apulia
Bari
Andria
Barletta
Brindisi
Foggia
Lecce
Taranto
Trani
More Art Cities in Apulia
Acaya
Alberobello
Alezio
Altamura
Ascoli Satriano
Bisceglie
Bitonto
Bovino
Calimera
Canosa
Casarano
Castel del Monte
Castellaneta
Ceglie Messapica
Cerignola
Cisternino
Conversano
Copertino
Cutrofiano

Francavilla Fontana

Galatina
Gallipoli
Gioia del Colle
Giovinazzo
Gravina
Grottaglie
Isole Tremiti
Locorotondo
Lucera
Maglie
Manduria
Manfredonia
Martano
Martina Franca
Massafra
Melendugno
Melpignano
Mesagne
Modugno
Molfetta
Monopoli
Monte Sant'Angelo
Nardò
Ostuni
Otranto
Parabita
Peschici
Poggiardo
Polignano a Mare
Putignano
Ruvo di Puglia
San Ferdinando di Puglia
San Vito dei Normanni
San Severo
Specchia
Terlizzi
Tricase
Troia
Ugento
Vico del Gargano
Vieste
Archaeological Sites
Egnazia
Ordona (Herdonia)
Oria
Siponto

In Italy Today
Italy Guides:
> Art Cities
> Full List
> Italy Regions
Exhibitions Events
Hotels B&Bs

 


ART TRAVEL LINK - SELECTED WEB SITES

  • Your TravelSite - http://www.yoursite.com
    Description of the site.
  • ... ask to put your link here!

 


Vuoi inserire un LINK?
Hai un HOTEL o un'altra attività legata al TURISMO IN ITALIA?

Promuovilo nella pagina della tua città dentro IN ITALY TODAY!
OFFERTE PROMOZIONALI PER I PRIMI LINK

Art Travel directory

SUGGEST AN ART/TRAVEL-SITE

 

In Italy Today loves art

© IN ITALY HOTELS NETWORK