Brindisi: The Complete Guide

Brindisi Harbour
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Fiurl11

Brindisi is a significant city on the Adriatic coast of Southern Italy in the Apulia region, with a population of just over 88,000. Its natural port has historically been crucial to the region’s development, thanks to its strategic location and active trade with Greece and other Adriatic nations. The city’s diverse economy includes agriculture, chemical processing, electricity generation, and commercial port activities.

Legend has it that Brindisi was founded by the epic hero Diomedes, but historical records show that settlements have existed here since ancient Roman and Greek times. Due to its strategic Adriatic position, Brindisi has been ruled by various empires and kingdoms, including the Ostrogoths, Lombards, and the Kings of Sicily. During World War II, the city even served as the temporary capital of Italy, hosting King Victor Emmanuel III. Today, Brindisi remains an important city on the eastern coast, with its varied economy making it one of the prime cities in the Apulia region.

As a tourist destination, Brindisi benefits from its coastal location, boasting a fantastic port and harbor. The city features notable structures like the beautiful Castello Alfonsino and the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Casale. For those more inclined towards relaxation, Brindisi offers excellent beaches such as Lido Azzurro. Additionally, the city is close to several other fantastic locations like Lecce and Mesagne, perfect for day trips.

History of Brindisi

Brindisi has a rich and varied history, shaped by its strategic location on the Adriatic coast and its natural harbor. The city’s origins are steeped in legend, with tales attributing its founding to the Greek hero Diomedes. However, archaeological evidence indicates that the area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, with significant development occurring during Greek and Roman times.

In ancient times, Brindisi was known as Brundisium, a key port and gateway to the East. The Romans recognized its strategic importance and constructed the Via Appia, a major road connecting Rome to Brindisi, facilitating trade and military movements. The city’s prosperity during the Roman period is evident from its numerous historical remnants, including sections of the Via Appia and ancient columns that once marked the end of the road.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, Brindisi’s fortunes fluctuated under various rulers. The city was part of the Byzantine Empire before being conquered by the Ostrogoths in the 6th century. It later fell under the control of the Lombards and then the Normans in the 11th century. During this medieval period, Brindisi remained an important maritime hub, contributing to the Crusades as a departure point for knights and pilgrims heading to the Holy Land.

The city continued to change hands, becoming part of the Kingdom of Sicily and later the Kingdom of Naples. Each ruling power left its mark on Brindisi’s architecture and culture. In the late Middle Ages, Brindisi experienced economic decline due to shifting trade routes and the devastation caused by plagues and wars.

The 19th century brought significant changes with the unification of Italy. Brindisi’s port was revitalized, becoming a critical link in maritime routes between Europe and the Middle East, particularly with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. This period saw economic growth and modernization.

During World War II, Brindisi played a notable role as the temporary capital of Italy after the armistice with the Allies in 1943. King Victor Emmanuel III and the Italian government relocated to Brindisi, and the city became a center of military and diplomatic activity.

In the post-war period, Brindisi continued to develop, balancing its historical heritage with modernization. Today, it is a vibrant city with a diverse economy based on its port activities, agriculture, chemical processing, and electricity generation. Brindisi remains an important cultural and economic center in the Apulia region, attracting tourists with its historical sites, beautiful architecture, and coastal charm.

Visiting Brindisi for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Brindisi on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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10 Best places to See in Brindisi

This complete guide to Brindisi not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Brindisi and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Porta Mesagne

Porta Mesagne
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Laurita7825
The Porta Mesagne is the oldest entrance gate to Brindisi, constructed on the foundations of an antemural built in Roman times by Mark Antony for the city’s land defense. The gate dates back to 1243 when Emperor Frederick II of Swabia, as part of his plan to expand and encompass the urban area within new […]
Location: Porta Mesagne (o Napoli), Via Bastioni San Giorgio, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Porta Mesagne

Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro

San Giovanni Al Sepolcro
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Holger Uwe Schmitt
The Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Small Temple of the Sepulcher, is a Romanesque church located in the historic center of Brindisi. Although it is no longer used for worship, it is open to the public for guided tours. This Norman construction, dating […]
Location: San Giovanni Al Sepolcro, Via San Giovanni al Sepolcro, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro

Palazzo Granafei-Nervegna 

Palazzo Granafei-Nervegna
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Roberto sernicola
The Granafei-Nervegna Palace, a historic building located on Via Duomo in Brindisi, originally belonged to the Granafei family, who were thought to have fled from Constantinople to Oria following the Turkish conquest. They moved to Brindisi in 1508, encouraged by incentives from Ferdinand of Aragon. In the 18th century, the Granafei family relocated to Mesagne, […]
Location: Palazzo Granafei Nervegna, Via Duomo, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Palazzo Granafei-Nervegna 

Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale

Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale Di Brindisi
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Holger Uwe Schmitt
The Cathedral of Brindisi, officially known as the Papal Basilica Cathedral of Brindisi or Duomo di Brindisi, also called the Basilica of the Visitation and Saint John the Baptist, was consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1089 and completed in 1143. It holds the status of a minor basilica. Significant damage from the 1743 earthquake […]
Location: Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale Di Brindisi, Via Duomo, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale

Museo Archeologico Provinciale Ribezzo 

Museo Archeologico Provinciale Ribezzo
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Sailko
The Archaeological Museum of Brindisi, named after the esteemed archaeologist and glottologist Francesco Ribezzo, is situated adjacent to the Cathedral Basilica of San Giovanni Battista. Visitors are welcomed by the splendid 13th-century Portico of the Knights Templar at the entrance. Established in 1884 to house donations from local excavation collectors, the museum has become a […]
Location: Museo Archeologico Provinciale Francesco Ribezzo, Piazza Duomo, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Museo Archeologico Provinciale Ribezzo 

Porta dei Cavalieri Templari 

Portico Dei Templari BRINDISI
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Saggottarius A
The so-called Portico dei Templari is a medieval structure located in Piazza Duomo in Brindisi. It features two Gothic carparo arches, separated by a Greek marble column adorned with a capital decorated with wicker motifs. The structure is composed of two cross vaults with two-tone ribs made of white stone and carparo. Based on its […]
Location: Loggia dei Templari, Via Santa Chiara, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Porta dei Cavalieri Templari 

Roman Columns of Brindisi

Fine Della Via Appia
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Davide Mauro
Usually considered the terminals of the Appian Way, these columns instead mark the culmination of an ancient monumental area from the Roman era, known as the Roman arx. One of the two columns collapsed in 1528, and the remnants were left unattended for about a hundred years. In 1657, the then-mayor Carlo Stea donated these […]
Location: Colonne Romane, Colonne Romane, Via Colonne, 53, 72100 Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Roman Columns of Brindisi

Monument to the Italian Sailor

Monumento Al Marinaio D Italia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Claudio Matarrelli
The monument was inaugurated on 4 November 1933 in the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III, as well as Achille Starace. Designed to commemorate those who fell at sea during the world wars, it preserves in the crypt shrine located at the base, the black marble slabs with the 6850 names of the sailors of […]
Location: Monumento al Marinaio d'Italia, Via Ammiraglio Millo, 2 72100 Brindisi BR Italy | Hours: October to March: 9.00- 1.00pm 2.00pm – 4.30pm April to September: 9.00-13.00 15.00-20.00 | Price: Free | Distance: 1.40km
Visiting Monument to the Italian Sailor

Santa Maria del Casale

Santa Maria Del Casale
Public Domain / Roberto sernicola
St. Maria del Casale in Brindisi is one of the city’s most illustrious churches, marking the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art. Built in 1284 by the Prince of Taranto, Filippo I, and his wife Caterina, it stands on the site of a chapel dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, who stopped there on his […]
Location: Chiesa di Santa Maria del Casale, Contrada Baroncino, Brindisi, BR, Italy | Distance: 2.50km
Visiting Santa Maria del Casale

Castello Alfonsino di Brindisi

Castello Alfonsino,brindisi
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Adele.pennetta
The castle is situated on the islet of S. Andrea, located in the outer port, opposite the mouth of the Pigonati canal. Originally a natural defensive bastion, the island housed a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew until the 15th century, giving the island its name. Construction of the castle began in 1445 when Ferdinand I […]
Location: Castello Alfonsino di Brindisi, Via Torpediniera Climene, Isola di Sant’Andrea, BR, Italy | Price: Guided tours, available in Italian, English and Spanish, last approximately 50 minutes. The cost of the ticket is €8 per person, reduced to €6 for residents in the province of Brindisi and for groups of at least 30 people. Entrance is free for children under 5 years old. | Distance: 3.40km
Visiting Castello Alfonsino di Brindisi

Best Time to Visit Brindisi

Spring (March to May)

Spring in Brindisi is a delightful time to visit, as the city comes to life with blooming flowers and pleasant weather. Temperatures range from mild to warm, making it ideal for exploring the city’s historic sites, strolling along the picturesque harbor, and enjoying outdoor cafes. The moderate climate allows visitors to comfortably explore the beautiful architecture, such as the Castello Alfonsino and Chiesa di Santa Maria del Casale. Additionally, spring is less crowded compared to the summer months, offering a more relaxed experience. The fresh produce in local markets is another highlight, providing an opportunity to taste the region’s seasonal delights.

Summer (June to August)

Summer in Brindisi is characterized by hot, sunny days and bustling activity. This is the peak tourist season, attracting visitors to its stunning beaches like Lido Azzurro, where they can bask in the sun and enjoy the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. The city’s vibrant atmosphere is enhanced by numerous festivals and events, celebrating local culture and traditions. While temperatures can soar, the coastal breeze offers some relief. However, it’s essential to book accommodations and plan activities in advance due to the high demand. Despite the heat, the lively ambiance and plethora of activities make summer an exciting time to experience Brindisi.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn in Brindisi brings cooler temperatures and a more tranquil atmosphere, making it an excellent time for a visit. The summer crowds dissipate, and the weather remains warm but comfortable, perfect for sightseeing and exploring the countryside. Vineyards and olive groves are in harvest, offering a chance to sample fresh, local produce and enjoy wine tasting tours. The cultural scene remains vibrant with various events and festivals celebrating the harvest season. The softer light and milder climate create an inviting setting for leisurely walks along the coast and through the historic streets of Brindisi.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Brindisi is mild compared to many other parts of Europe, with cooler temperatures but rarely any snow. This off-peak season offers a unique opportunity to experience the city without the crowds. The cooler weather is ideal for exploring indoor attractions, such as museums and churches, and enjoying the local cuisine in cozy, traditional restaurants. Winter festivals and holiday celebrations provide a festive atmosphere, particularly around Christmas and New Year. Although beach activities are limited, the serene coastal views and peaceful ambiance make winter a charming time to discover Brindisi’s authentic charm and local culture.

Average Temperatures in Brindisi

  • January 15°C 8
  • February 16°C 9
  • March 17°C 8
  • April 22°C 7
  • May 25°C 6
  • June 31°C 4
  • July 34°C 2
  • August 32°C 2
  • September 29°C 7
  • October 24°C 10
  • November 19°C 14
  • December 16°C 5

How to get to Brindisi

By Air

Brindisi is served by Brindisi Papola Casale Airport (BDS), located just a few kilometers from the city center. The airport offers both domestic flights and international connections, making it a convenient entry point. Upon arrival, you can take a taxi or use the local bus service to reach the city center.

By Train

Brindisi is well-connected to major Italian cities through the national railway network. High-speed trains from cities like Rome, Milan, and Bologna can bring you directly to Brindisi’s central railway station. The train journey offers scenic views of the Italian countryside and coastline, making it a pleasant travel option.

By Car

If you prefer to drive, Brindisi is accessible via the A14 and A16 motorways, which connect the city to the broader Italian highway system. Driving allows you to explore the surrounding Apulia region at your own pace. Car rentals are available at the airport and in major cities.

By Ferry

Brindisi can be reached by ferry from various ports across the Adriatic Sea. There are regular ferry services from Greece, Albania, and other Italian ports, making it a convenient option for travelers coming from these regions. The port of Brindisi is centrally located, and from there, you can easily access the rest of the city.