Greek coins

The Mythical and Historical land of Puglia: Iapygians, Messapians, Greeks and Romans

The modern region of Puglia, located in southeastern corner of the Italian peninsula, is rich in mythology, history and culture.  Inhabited continuously since the Neolithic period, the areas surrounding modern cities of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto provide numerous opportunities to step back in time and engage with these phases of human history. The region was occupied by people known as the Iapygians and Messapians, encountered by Greek travellers thousands of years ago. Their monuments still stand all around the Salentine peninsula; archaeologists are currently excavating many of these settlements, trying to reconstruct more about these ancient peoples.

Literature & History:

Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, Romans in their expansion in the mediterranean, Europe’s struggle against the Ottoman Empire.  Aeneid, protagonist of the Aeneid, is thought to have arrived along the shores of the Adriatic coast of Puglia, travelling from Troy in search of a new home for his lost people.

Lecce- the Roman city of Lupia, Roman amphitheatre

Trulli rooftops


  • Rocca Vecchia and the Grotta della Poesia
  • Otranto
  • Ugento
  • Galipoli and Porto Cesario
  • Porto Selvaggio
  • Site of battle of Cannae, near Canosa and Barletta
  • Egnazia, site of ancient settlement of Gnathia
  • Messapian settlements: Muro Leccese, Oria, Muro Tenente, Cavallino, Vaste
  • Lecce- the Roman city of Lupia, Roman amphitheatre

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