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Foggia

Foggia (APT)

Foggia stands in the heart of the Tavoliere delle Puglie – from the Latin fovea, “fossa” (ditch) for the preservation of wheat – it is the capital of a large province which contains 64 municipalities. Its founding is believed to date back to the Middle Ages (11th century), probably on the ashes of the nearby Arpi, center of Daunia, of which Foggia’s Civic Museum contains many remains. Its location in the center of a primarily agricultural area (the Tavoliere is also called the “granary of Italy”) has made Foggia become the reference for the population of the surrounding rural areas. It flourished during the Swabian period, when Frederick II chose it as the imperial seat. Two earthquakes (in 1456 and 1731) and bombings during the Second World War caused almost total destruction of the old city. Traces remain mainly in the nineteenth century urban structure, with 18th and 19th century buildings and churches. Buildings from the twenty year Fascist period are also of interest, and are works of important Italian architects.

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Little remains of Fredrick II’s imperial palace. Only an arch and Fredrick II’s fountain, built in 1929 over the remains over the well in the Swabian Emperor’s palace, are standing today.
Within the mainly modern structure of Foggia, due to successive reconstructions, interesting remains of the various epochs and there overlapping can be seen. One example is the cathedral built in 1172, renovated in 1600 and with an 18th century interior. It house the Icona Vetere della Madonna dei Sette Veli. A Byzantine tablet which was supposedly found in a marsh by some shepherds, drawn by the splendour of three flames. Foggia was founded on this spot and the flames became its symbol.
Only an arch remains of Frederick II’s imperial palace; Palazzo Arpi was built on its remains, which houses the interesting Civic Museum.
Palazzo Dogana (18th century) recalls the age-old practice of transhumance. It was the Aragonese in 1477, who imposed a tax on shepherds who brought their herds to from Abruzzo to Tavoliere to spend the winter. The Dogana was only abolished after the Unification of Italy.
The Church of Cruci dates back to the end of the 17th century-first half of the 18th; this complex is formed by five chapels on the road leading to San Severo.
The Giardino Theatre and Villa Comunale are 19th century.

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At the beginning of Via Manzoni, once known as via Epitaffio stands an epitaph, known until the end of the nineteenth century as the “statua del tesoro”. The monument was built in 1651, either as thanks to the Spanish king Philip IV or in remembrance of sheep-grazing activities in the area and the “Dogana delle Pecore” (Sheep Customs Office).

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Population: 155203
Province: Foggia
Patron Saint: Madonna dei Sette Veli (22 marzo)
Area Code: 0881
Town website: www.comune.foggia.it

Sources: By the editorial staff
Updated on: 03/09/2010