Francavilla Fontana is a town in the Apulian province of Brindisi, also known as Città degli Imperiali because it had been ruled for about two hundred years by the lords who made it become a very powerful reality. It extends from one side towards Le Murge and from the other towards the Plains, it has no rivers on the surface but it’s rich of watercourses in depth and the soil is essentially rich of limestone.
Francavilla has remote origins that date back to prehistoric times, witnessed by the ruins of a village with huts belonging to the Neolithic period, but further on, around the fourteenth century thanks to Filippo d'Anjou, Prince of Taranto, it became a real town.
According to a legend and tradition, on September 14th, 1310, during a hunting expedition, the prince found an image of the Madonna and Child , painted on a crumbling wall near a fountain, and around that wall he built a chapel as a sign of devotion, and also distributed land and franchises to people, attracting many from the nearby neighborhoods.
Thus was born the Casale of Francavilla, which takes its name from the meaning of “ gift of the land”. Today Francavilla Fontana is one of the most important centers of Brindisi, the second largest in the province for the extension. Among the activities,the most important are agriculture based on the cultivation of olives, grapes, tobacco, cherries and almonds, from which are produced the popular “curly almonds”.
Even the industry is well developed, with food, clothing manufacturing companies and also contruction But Francavilla is also a tourist resort, thanks to its proximity to the most popular destinations located in la Valle d'Itria, inTaranto and on the Salento coastline.
What to see
Francavilla is a town rich of monuments and places of tourist attraction. Among all, the baroque style Chiesa Matrice (Mother Church) bearing up high a star symbol. The dome of this church is the highest among those in Salento, meanwhile inside there are some very important paintings and an evocative crypt.
Among the best examples of civil architecture, Palazzo Argentina, with a courtyard and portal surmounted by a richly decorated balcony, built in 1400 and proclaimed National Monument in 1913.
Particularly beautiful is the eighteenth century Palazzo Giannuzzi-Carissimo, with an imposing façade and along all its length it features a beautiful fine stone balcony. In Piazza Umberto I, imposing is Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower), built in 1750 where in the frame was placed a sundial in 1878. Among the most significant military architecture, we find il Castello ( the Castle), with a rectangular shape surrounded by a moat, and a large eighteenth-century portal. The Castle was built in 1450, the same period in which the first walls of the city were built , but today we can seek only a few remains around the Old City.
Along the perimeter of the walls there were many entrances, still visible today, among these we havePorta del Carmine, similar to an arch of triumph, Porta della Croce and Porta dei Cappuccini. From the naturalistic point of view, we must mention the City Park Bosco Bottari, one of the most important provincial sites. With a a forest area of about 32 hectares, here we can find oaks and holm oaks.
Very suggestive are also the numerous caves so called Grotte, created as a result of a karst phenomena. Among all, we can mention Grotta Specchia and Grotta Bax, a complex structure, inside which, signs of human presence, dating back to a prehistoric period have been found.
Events• Holy Week-Rites of the Passion of Christ
• 40 days after Easter - Feast of the Madonna della Croce
• June 23/25 - Night of San Giovanni
• September 14/15 - PatronalFestival in honour of the Madonna della Fontana
• December - Nativity