Gallipoli, Province of Lecce, Puglia, Italy
Situated on the Ionian Sea, along the western coast of the Salento Peninsula, and is divided into two parts: the Borgo, which is the more recent town, and the Historical Center, located on an island connected to the mainland by a long bridge on arches, where also the harbor is situated.
Altitude: 12 m a.s.l -- Population: ca. 20,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 73014 -- Phone Area Code: 0833 -- Patron Saint: San Sebastiano, Santa Cristina, Sant'Agata celebrated on 20 January - 24 July, 5 February, respectively
The name of the place comes from the Greek kalé pólis, meaning beautiful town. The Romans conquered it in 265 BC, and connected it to Rome by the Via Traiana, turning it into a strategic port for trade with the Balkans. In the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman EMpire and throughout the Middle Ages Gallipoli was repeatedly sieged and passed under various occupations: the Normans from the 11th century AD, the Anjou from 1269, then the Aragonese, then for a short time in 1848 was also occupied by the Venetians, finally by the Spaniards in the 16th century, and at the time was included in the Kingdom of Naples. It was always however a thriving commercial center, especially renowned for the trade of lamp oil.
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