Travel and Culture in Apulia

Otranto: history

In ancient times it was called Hidrotum, a name that derives from the river’s name, Idro....


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HISTORY

In ancient times it was called Hidrotum, a name that derives from the river’s name, Idro, and in all probability, it was founded by some Greek colonists coming from Crete island.


In ancient times it was called Hidrotum, a name that derives from the river’s name, Idro, and in all probability, it was founded by some Greek colonists coming from Crete island.

On the contrary, the legend tells it was Daedalus the person who founded this town, after he had fled from Crete’s labyrinth.

Otranto, thanks to its geographical position between West and East, had been subject to different conquests and dominations: the Romans arrived after the Greeks, then the Longobards and the Byzantines, who fortified the town to defend it from the Norman invasion.

Otranto mosaic-2

In the 11th century Otranto had a long period of prosperity, due to the commercial activity of its port and to the passage of the Crusaders who were travelling to reach the Holy Land.

In 1384 it was conquered by the Angevins and then by the Aragonese, who seized it again after the Turks’ siege and destruction of the town itself. Later this centre passed to the Venetians, then to the French and finally it became part of the Reign of Naples.

After the Unification of the Reign of Italy the town followed the development of its region.





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