Francavilla Fontana (Francavillese: Francaìdda [fɾaŋkaˈiɖɖa]) is a town and comune (municipality) in the province of Brindisi and region of Apulia, in southern Italy. It is also called the town of the "Imperiali", after the Imperiali, a family of feudal lords who ruled the town from the end of 16th century until the 18th century. With a population of 36,358, in 2017,[2][3] it is the third municipality of its province after Brindisi and Fasano. Its one of the many towns in south Italy where the Greek dialect Griko is spoken.

Francavilla Fontana
Comune di Francavilla Fontana
View of the "Umberto I" square
View of the "Umberto I" square
Francavilla within the Province of Brindisi
Francavilla within the Province of Brindisi
Location of Francavilla Fontana
Francavilla Fontana is located in Italy
Francavilla Fontana
Francavilla Fontana
Location of Francavilla Fontana in Italy
Francavilla Fontana is located in Apulia
Francavilla Fontana
Francavilla Fontana
Francavilla Fontana (Apulia)
Coordinates: 40°32′N 17°35′E / 40.533°N 17.583°E / 40.533; 17.583
ProvinceBrindisi (BR)
FrazioniBax Capece
 • MayorAntonello Denuzzo
 • Total175 km2 (68 sq mi)
142 m (466 ft)
 (31 December 2017)[2][3]
 • Total36,358
 • Density210/km2 (540/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0831
Patron saintMadonna della Fontana
Saint daySeptember 14
WebsiteOfficial website
Francavilla Cathedral.

History edit

The name Francavilla has French-Norman origins: "Franca" (tax-free) and "villa" (town). The specification Fontana ("fountain") alludes to a vision of the Virgin Mary witnessed by Prince Filippo d'Angiò, who hence declaring the town a tax-free haven, according to the local legend.

Geography edit

Francavilla is located in the Altosalento, on the last Murge's hills, and it is equidistant, about 35 kilometres (22 mi), from Taranto and Brindisi. The municipality borders with Ceglie Messapica, Grottaglie, Latiano, Manduria, Oria, San Marzano di San Giuseppe, San Michele Salentino, San Vito dei Normanni, Sava and Villa Castelli.[4]

Main sights edit

  • The massive square Castle (Palazzo Imperiali) of the Imperiali family, to whom, with Oria, it was sold by St. Charles Borromeo in the 16th century for 40,000 ounces of gold, which he distributed in one day to poor and plague-infected people in Milan.[5]
  • Mother Church, built from 1743 over a former Angevine construction.
  • Torre dell'Orologio (watchtower), built in 1750.

Transport edit

The town, 18 km east of Taranto-Grottaglie Airport, is served by the SS7 "Appia" highway. The local railway station is a junction point between the lines Taranto–Brindisi, owned by the national company FS, and Martina–Lecce, owned by FSE. It is served by regional and, on the Taranto-Brindisi line, by long-distance trains also.

Sport edit

The local football club is the Virtus Francavilla, that has its home ground in John Paul II Stadium.

People edit

Twin towns edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b (in Italian) Source: ISTAT 2016
  3. ^ a b (in Italian) Population statistics of Francavilla Fontana ( Data from ISTAT
  4. ^ 40522 (x a j h) Francavilla Fontana on OpenStreetMap
  5. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francavilla Fontana". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 775.

External links edit