Port of Brindisi
Review and History

The Port of Brindisi lies on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in southeastern Italy. With an excellent natural protected harbor, the Port of Brindisi is connected to inland Italy by rail, air, and road. The capital of Brindisi Province, it is an ancient city in Italy’s Apulia region.

The Port of Brindisi is busy with trade from the Middle and Far East. It is also a growing ferry terminal for tourists between Greece and Italy. It is mainly a commercial center, but it also has an oil refinery, food processing and chemical industries, and wine producers. In 2006, over 90 thousand people called the Port of Brindisi home.

Port History

Legend tells that Diomedes, a companion of Odysseus, founded Brindisi. Inhabited by Illyrian tribes, the Greeks called the city Brentesion. It became a Roman town in the middle 3rd Century BC, and the Romans named it Brundisium.

After the Punic Wars, it was an important Roman naval base and center for trade as well as a stronghold for the resistance to the general Hannibal in the early 1st Century BC. In 49 BC, Julius Caesar besieged the city, and it was again attacked in 42 and 40 BC. Under Roman rule, it became a huge urban center, with a population of over 100 thousand, and an active port. Future emperor Octavian and Mark Anthony made peace there in 40 BC, and the poet Virgil died in Brindisi in 19 BC.

Through the early Middle Ages in Europe, the Port of Brindisi was held by an ever-changing succession of overlords. The Ostrogoths conquered Brindisi, then the Byzantine Empire retook the port in the 6th Century AD. The Lombards destroyed the city in 674, but it was quickly rebuilt due to its important harbor and port.

After the Normans conquered the area in 1071 AD, the Port of Brindisi became more important. Many Crusaders embarked for the Holy Lands from the port. For a short time, Venice ruled the Port of Brindisi, but they were driven out by Spanish forces. The city suffered devastation by the plague in 1348.

Under the rule of the Capetian House of Anjou, the Port of Brindisi prospered, but struggles over the succession of the Kingdom of Naples and a serious earthquake in 1456 largely destroyed the city.

The Austrians ruled the Port of Brindisi in the early 18th Century, and they were followed by the Bourbons. In the 19th Century under the Bourbon kings of Naples and the kings of Italy, the Port of Brindisi began to revive. When the Suez Canal opened in 1869, the Port of Brindisi’s commercial life blossomed.

During World War I, the Port of Brindisi was the base for Italy’s naval operations in the Adriatic Sea. After Benito Mussolini fell in 1943, the Port of Brindisi became the seat of Italian government that got Italy out of the Axis and World War II. The modern Port of Brindisi is home base for a naval brigade, the San Marco Regiment.

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