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Manduria is a city and comune of Apuliamarker, Italymarker, in the province of Taranto. With c. 30,000 inhabitants, it is located 35 km east of Taranto, and 14 km north of the coast.


It was an important stronghold of the Messapii against Tarentummarker. Archidamus III, king of Spartamarker, fell beneath its walls in 338 BC, while leading the army of the latter (Plutarch calls the place Mandonion). It revolted to Hannibal, but was stormed by the Romans in 209 BC. Pliny the Elder mentions a spring here which never changed its level, and may still be seen.

The town was destroyed by the Saracens in the 10th century; the inhabitants settled themselves on the site of the present town, at first called Casalnuovo, which resumed the old name in 1700.

Main sights

The modern city is close to the site of the ancient Manduria, considerable remains of the defences of which can still be seen; they consisted of a double line of wall built of rectangular blocks of stone, without mortar, and with a broad ditch in front. Some tombs with gold ornaments were found in 1886.

The symbol of the city is a well with an almond tree growing from the center, which was mentioned by Pliny the Elder. The well (Fonte Pliniano), complete with the almond tree, can still be seen today. Other sights include:

  • Chiesa Madre (or Collegiata) of medieval origin but renovated in the 16th century.
  • Church of San Pietro Mandurino, probably a Hellenistic hall tomb adapted as a church in the 8th-9th century AD. Is opened to visits by the public only during certain celebrations.
  • Church of the Holy Trinity (11th/12th centuries). It has a fa├žade with three Renaissance portals and a rose window. The 15th century bell tower is decorated by large masks of unknown origin.
  • Church of SS. Rosario.
  • Church of SS. Immacolata.
  • Church of Santa Lucia (1540)
  • Medieval Jewish Ghetto.
  • Castle which was the seat of the Imperiali princes from 1719.
  • Parco Archeologico
Archo di Sant'Angelo. gateway to the centro storico. Found on Via XX September the main street in Manduria

Primitivo di Manduria

Primitivo di Manduria is a dark bold red, often compared to California's zinfandel. It has its roots in the oldest of wine traditions. The primitivo grape is told to have originated in Greece and been bought over by some of the first settlers of the Italian peninsula.


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