The Inner Harbor of Brindisi
The town of Brindisi has a magnificent natural harbor, consisting of a wide funnel-shaped bay that is wedged in the coast.
The unique morphology of harbor, deer head shaped, the symbol of the city, is the product of erosion made by the mouth of two rivers, the Cillarese channel in the Ponente bay and the Palmarini-Patri in the Levante one, who have generated a river valley where the sea has crept.
The inner harbor covers an area of 727,000 square meters, divided into two branches: Ponente bay, even used as a military port, about 1.5 km long, and Levante bay, with functions in the commercial port, of about 1 km.
Both, about 200 meters wide, embrace the old city of Brindisi from north to east.
Today the port of Brindisi pursues its turist vocation, considering geographical position and physical characteristics, as natural gate for relations with the Balkans, Greece and the eastern Mediterranean.
It’s not unusual to see in Brindisi passengers and tourists of all nationalities, walking on the promenade Regina Margherita, recently renewed and given back to the City. Besides tourism, the inner harbor has recently carved out a role of amazing location for international sport events such as Formula2, becoming a breathtaking location for the public, athletes and professionals, who can admire the Alfonsino-Aragonese Castle and the Via Appia columns.
The promenade Regina Margherita
The Brindisi old waterfront riqualification project has returned the city the space between the historic facades and the sea. The promenade is now home of a spectacular row of palm trees planted along a ribbon of stone paving decorated with LED lights, that stops in front of the famous Virgilio staircase, and ends in the square outside Montenegro Palace, where a wooden deck draws a shady square run out to the sea.
Along the row of palms and a narrow band close to the sea line up urban furniture, leaving as much as possible a clear pedestrian space made by repaved stone.
The new flooring was performed recovering all segments of the existing white limestone and black volcanic pavement stone.
The tree-lined square that closes the walk to the west was paved with wooden slats and offers spacious seats integrated into the architectural design.
Alog the way, there are the “Path of Remembrance” totems, made of stone and etched glass, full of historical information. The totem, with tourist information, are provided with tactile map in Braille text.
The whole project conveys feelings of peace and harmony that result from the temporal continuity – through the materials – and the geometric cleanliness of the objects, in harmony with the majestic simplicity of the water front mirror.
Along the way, the visitor can find various catering activities, both outdoor and indoor, from bar to ice cream parlor, from pizzeria to restaurants.
Short history of the port of Brindisi
The history of the port of Brindisi is connected to the city story.
Already used in Messapian age, the port of Brindisi became, in Roman age, one of the most important ports of the Roman Empire, because of his natural impulse towards the East.
Double bonded with the story of Rome, the port lost its importance with the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in the sixth century, passing the baton to other ports in Puglia such as Otranto, closer to Byzantium.
In the twelfth century the port of Brindisi recovered its splendor, following a reconstruction planning started in the previous century, wanted by the protospatharius Lupo and by order of the Byzantine emperors, as marked in the famous inscription of the column.
Silent witness of historical events, the port has experienced first departures to the Holy Land for many contingents of the First Crusade in 1096, and also of the subsequent ones.
In 1227, near the start for the sixth crusade, by Frederick II, the long stay a huge amount of soldiers near the port, caused an epidemy.
In 1446, Giovanni Antonio Orsini Del Balzo, did block the input channel with the idea of defending their domains from an alleged attack by the Venetians, leaving the harbor slip into oblivion, which continued under the Bourbons. It was Ferdinand IV, in 1775, to stop the port decline , ordering Andrea Pigonati to restore the communication channel between the inner harbor and outer harbor.
In the nineteenth century, the port of Brindisi became the terminal for the loading goods and passengers arriving on international trains following the construction of the Railroad Adriatica.
The first official trip of Valigia delle Indie, dated 25th October 1870, took place on board the British Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company boat, that from Brindisi left for Alexandria, where the railroad carried passengers and goods up to Suez (from there were embarked for India). With the opening of the Suez Channel in 1869, the port city of Brindisi increased its importance for the trading revival with the East.