Discovering Brindisi Italy
Getting To Brindisi
Exploring regions of Italy is relatively easy and cost effective with great access to cheap flights, trains and buses. After a recent two-night stay in Verona Italy, I caught a flight with the budget airline ‘Ryan Air’ from Verona to Brindisi, a port city on the Adriatic Sea. Situated in the southern Italy Apulia region, Brindisi continues to attract both locals and tourists because of its rich history, great climate and coastal position.
For centuries, the location of the naturally-formed harbour has played a significant role in the development of this region through active trade with Greece and other countries across the Adriatic Sea. Today, the thriving port is a main attraction to Brindisi and worth exploring on foot with great views across the shipping docks from Via del Mare.
Italian Soldiers Monument
Small boats and fishing vessels bob up and down in the marina and opposite the port is where you’ll find the Italian Soldiers monument and chapel dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War 1. The names of 6,000 Italian soldiers is engraved inside the sacred chapel and home of the bell from the battle ship “Benedetto Brin”, which sank in the port of Brindisi in 1915.
Timetable for visiting the Italian Sailor Monument is 9.00am – 13.00pm and 16.30pm – 19.00pm – closed on Thursday. Free entrance. To reach the Italian Monument catch the STP Brindisi Ferry (Traghetto Water Bus) from the Quay for 1€ which leaves every 20 minutes from both sides.
Castello Alfonsino di Brindisi, a 16th century castle sits at the northern end of the port offering exceptional port and sea views. Built on the edge of Sant Andrea Island, the fortified structure is made up of an assortment of towers, battlements and archways.
Santa Maria del Casale, a late 13th century single nave Romanesque Gothic style church is positioned very close to the Brindisi airport runway. The main highlights of this national monument are the red and white marble façade and ‘Last Judgement’ Byzantine frescoes painted in four levels by Rinaldo from Taranto on the rear wall. The twelve branches of ‘The Tree of the Cross’ symbolizes the twelve apostles.
Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale in the Piazza Duomo is also home to the Virgin Mary column that sits serenely against the bright blue sky. The 1,000-year-old cathedral was nearly completely destroyed 300 years ago by an earthquake and severely damaged again during World War 2 by allied bombing in 1944. The sacred relics of St Theodore of Amasea, one of the patron saints of Brindisi is housed here and pilgrims travelling through Brindisi to the Holy Land stop here to pay their respects.
Symbols of Brindisi
The elegant 19-metre-tall Turkish marble column at the end of the Appian Way (old ancient road that stretches from the Rome Forum to Brindisi ) dominates the port of Brindisi at the top of a long staircase. The two 2nd century Roman columns were once used as a lighthouse and indicate the place where the old Appian Way ended. The columns were the first and last monuments that the crusaders saw on leaving and returning from the Holy Land. These monuments are considered to be symbols of the city. Unfortunately, in 1528 one of the columns crumbled nevertheless, one remains intact and continues to attract tens of thousands of visitors annually.
Where to Stay in Brindisi
Zenthe B&B is the perfect place to stay in Brindisi. This 18th century building designed by Andrea Libardo is both inviting, elegant and only 4 minutes’ walk from Teatro Verdi. It might seem a little strange at first when you are asked to remove your shoes and given a pair of elegant black slippers to step into. The Zenthe want you to be comfortable and feel like you are at home.
The small luxury B&B floors are heated, and music is piped through the entire building via the Bang & Olufsen stereo system. The Futronix lighting control and dimmer solutions is used throughout the building creating beautiful mood lighting. On each floor there are two luxurious rooms with private facilities that have been individually decorated and have magnificent sea views. My go to website for accommodation options is Booking.com World leaders in travel.
Eating in Brindisi
Fresh seafood is in abundance in Brindisi however some restaurants specialize in grilled meats which customers can choose from the restaurant window display. Be aware, the siesta period operates here, and many restaurants are closed between 2pm and 7pm. If you are looking for a hearty steak and a good selection of wines, then Don Angus is the restaurant for you. The family waterfront restaurant ‘Windsurf’ run by two brothers is well-known for its excellent pizza and generous serves of pasta.
There is a number of excellent waterfront restaurants on the Port of Brindisi. TripAdvisor can help you find the best restaurants in Brindisi with the best customer reviews. One of my favourites is the recently renovated wine bar “Numero Primo’ which offers beautiful sea views, a wide range of Tunute Rubino Wines together with gourmet dishes of local Puglia products.
Brindisi Roman Ruins
Within the heart of historic centre and old quarter of San Pietro degli Schiavoni is an archaeological site, discovered in the 1960s. During excavation of the new Teatro Verdi, a roman Domus dating back to the 5th century was unearthed. The preserved ancient site measuring approximately 5,000m2 includes thermal baths, mosaics, marbles and a large street made from flat stones. The site is free to visit and can see seen through the transparent floor of the new theatre.
Brindisi Tours and Experiences
History of Olive Oil
Olive Oil production in Italy dates back to around 3,000BCE. It is believed that the olive tree originated in Ancient Greece before spreading throughout the Mediterranean regions. Viator Tours offers olive making experiences from various cities in Italy. The tour from Brindisi incorporates the history and production of olive harvesting and olive oil processing, done the traditional way in Ceglie Messapica. Here you will see olives harvested by hand, sample local wine and experience a picnic lunch in the gorgeous Italian countryside. Book online with Viator Tours and see the very best of Italy.
Wine and Food Tasting
Tunute Rubino Wines cellar door tours and wine / food tastings start from 10€. For a more luxurious experience, Tunute Rubino Wines offer a wine and food tasting experience onboard a private catamaran in the picturesque port of Brindisi. This highly exclusive and unique 3-hour tour is where you will taste award winning Salento wines paired with typical local products. The package also includes a guided visit of the cellar door and transport transfers. The winery is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 16.00pm however 48 hours reservation is required on Saturdays and Sundays with minimum groups of 6.
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