Fasano sits where the low hills and grotto-pocked plains of Puglia lead to the Adriatic Sea. Fasano has ancient roots dating back to Greco-Roman times - it was mentioned by Horace in 38
BC, but it was truly settled in 1088 by inhabitants of the once-important port of Egnazia who moved inland to escape the many coastal invasions of the time. In the 14th century it became the possession of the Knights of Malta. In 1678 the town reveled in its moment of glory with a grand defeat over the Turks who had been sacking the zone for years. The victory is attributed to the intervention of the Madonna, who appeared to guide the resistance to their triumph. The event is still celebrated annually with the festa, La Scimiciata, a grand week-long event that includes a prestigious parade in period costumes, medieval flag-throwing competitions, concerts, food and fireworks.
The sparkling white historic center is a quaint maze of narrow lanes, archways, stairways, and little piazzas. The Baroque Arco dei Cavalieri (Arch of the Knights) is the gateway to the little alleyway of via Bali; the Palazzo of the Knights of Malta is now the town hall. Piazza Ciaia is the hub of life and is encircled by beautiful buildings; it's a favorite spot for a stroll and a gelato. The Museum of Olive Oil indicates the area's primary product, as evidenced by the miles of olive groves in the countryside. The museum is in the 12th century masseria (fortified farmhouse) that was a former Benedictine monastery, an estate owned by the Colucci-Amati family, one of the main producers of olive oil. Wander around town to discover the hidden architectural and artistic highlights of the centro storico.
Nearby is Zoosafari, a huge zoo and marine park with a wild animal safari, dolphin shows and carnival rides. The town also hosts an annual Jazz Festival every June.
Fasano offers the best of the hills and the sea where rich farmland gives a bounty of fruits and vegetables utilized in the regional cuisine, along with fresh seafood from the coast. The location is near the main tourist towns of Puglia, including Locorotondo, Ostuni, Alberobello and Bari.
Explore nearby towns
Selva di Fasano is called "the Italian balcony on the Orient" and the name seems appropriate.
A seaside frazione of Fasano, Savelletri is a pretty port town with beaches and great dining options.
Lovely Locorotondo is cradled between the Puglia plains of the Murgia and the green Valle d'Itria, between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.
Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!
Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Fasano? Ask them here!