|Comune di Francavilla Fontana|
View of a road in the old town
Francavilla within the Province of Brindisi
|• Mayor||Antonello Denuzzo|
|• Total||175 km2 (68 sq mi)|
|Elevation||142 m (466 ft)|
|• Density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Madonna della Fontana|
|Saint day||September 14|
Francavilla Fontana (Francavillese: Francaìdda [fɾaŋkaˈiɖɖa]) is a town and comune (municipality) in the province of Brindisi and region of Apulia, in southern Italy. It is also called the town of the "Imperiali", after the Imperiali, a family of feudal lords who ruled the town from the end of 16th century until the 18th century. With a population of 36,358, in 2017, it is the third municipality of its province after Brindisi and Fasano.
The name Francavilla has French-Norman origins: "Franca" (tax-free) and "villa" (town). The specification Fontana ("fountain") alludes to a vision of the Virgin Mary witnessed by Prince Filippo d'Angiò, who hence declaring the town a tax-free haven, according to the local legend.
Francavilla is located in the Altosalento, on the last Murge's hills, and it is equidistant, about 35 kilometres (22 mi), from Taranto and Brindisi. The municipality borders with Ceglie Messapica, Grottaglie, Latiano, Manduria, Oria, San Marzano di San Giuseppe, San Michele Salentino, San Vito dei Normanni, Sava and Villa Castelli.
- The massive square Castle (Palazzo Imperiali) of the Imperiali family, to whom, with Oria, it was sold by St. Charles Borromeo in the 16th century for 40,000 ounces of gold, which he distributed in one day to poor and infected with the plague people in Milan.
- Mother Church, built from 1743 over a former Angevine construction.
- Torre dell'Orologio (watchtower), built in 1750.
The town, 18 km east of Taranto-Grottaglie Airport, is served by the SS7 "Appia" highway. The local railway station is a junction point between the lines Taranto–Brindisi, owned by the national company FS, and Martina–Lecce, owned by FSE. It is served by regional and, on the Taranto-Brindisi line, by long-distance trains also.
The local football club is the Virtus Francavilla, that has its home ground in John Paul II Stadium.
- Ottaviano Andriani (b. 1974), marathon runner
- Cosimo Caliandro (1982–2011), middle distance runner
- Clementina Forleo (b. 1963), judge
- Giuseppe Renato Imperiali (1651–1737), cardinal
- Michele Imperiali Simeana (1736–1782), prince
- Giacomo Leone (b. 1971), long-distance runner
- San Giovanni al Natisone, Italy
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francavilla Fontana". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 775.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Francavilla Fontana.|
- (in Italian) Official website
- "Francavilla Fontana". Brindisi Virtual Tour (in Italian). Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
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