What to See and Do in Brindisi
Brindisi is located in the Apulia (Puglia) region of Italy or the heel for those that need a bit more direction.
The city of Brindisi, located on the Adriatic coast, lies between two deep bays linked to the open sea by a narrow and deep channel, overlooked by the Castello Rosso (Red Castle), named for the particular color of the stone used to build it. The Swabian Castle, rather, overlooks the western channel of the port and today is a venue for major cultural events. Among the sights not to be missed, the Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro, with a beautiful and finely-decorated marble portal, and the Colonna Romana, once flanked by a "twin" that today is part of the structure of the famous Colonna di Sant’Oronzo (Column of St. Orontius) in Lecce.
Located 4km north of town towards the airport, this church was built by Prince Philip of Taranto around 1300. The church mixes up Puglian Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine styles, with a Byzantine banquet of interior frescoes. The immense Last Judgement on the entrance wall, full of blood and thunder, is the work of Rinaldo di Taranto.
This 11th-century cathedral was substantially remodelled after an earthquake in 1743. You can see how the original Romanesque structure may have looked by studying the nearby Porta dei Cavalieri Templari , a fanciful portico with pointy arches – all that remains of a medieval Knights Templar's church that once also stood here.
The gleaming white column above a sweeping set of sun-whitened stairs leading to the waterfront promenade marks the imperial Via Appia terminus at Brindisi. Originally there were two columns, but one was presented to the town of Lecce back in 1666 as thanks to Sant'Oronzo for having relieved Brindisi of the plague.
After the Romans, the next big event to hit Brindisi was the Crusades during the 12th and 13th centuries. The Porta dei Cavalieri Templari, an exotic-looking portico with pointy arches, is all that remains of the Knights Templar's main church. It stands beside the cathedral in the heart of the small historic quarter.
This superb museum covers several floors with well-documented exhibits (in English), including some 3000 bronze sculptures and fragments in Hellenistic Greek style. There are also terracotta figurines from the 7th century, underwater archaeological finds, and Roman statues and heads (not always together).
The Knights Templar's secondary church is a square brown bulk of Norman stone conforming to the circular plan the Templars so loved.
Ancient palaces, the beautiful cathedral, narrow alleys and old houses full of charm. Missing the cathedral and the beautiful Palazzo Arcivescovile, overlooking the square, is almost impossible. It’s the heart of the city.
Like everywhere else in Italy, Brindisi offers delicious food and good wine. The area is a land of olive oil, tasty vegetables, great cheeses and excellent red wines.
The top of the Monument to the Sailors is likely the best view point on the beautiful Brindisi waterfront. From there, you’ll enjoy a different view on the city, the pastel colored houses on the seafront, the boats waiting to take the sea.