Originally inhabited by the Messapian (which meaning is “land between the two seas”), Puglia has always been strategic for the populations which inhabited the Mediterranean. These people le” a strong fingerprint on the territory and on the language and spirit of modern Puglia people.
Later on, Puglia was colonized by the Greeks, and became part of the Magna Grecia, reaching high social, cultural and economic levels.
In the 4th century BC the Romans began their conquest of Apulia and built the Appian Way to connect the region to Rome, but the Roman empire never conquered it completely, infact people kept their rebel spirit and own traditions.
A “er the fall of Rome, Apulia changed lots of dominators: Byzantines, Longobards and Franks.
A great personality, Frederick II of Swabia burst into Puglia history around the 17th century. He gave new life to the region and built sveral castles and cathedrals: Castel del Monte is an example of his dedication to the territory. He loved puglia so much that he is also known as “puer apuliae”.
In the 18th century the Bourbons tried to reinvigorate Apulia through the creation of new roads and ports, and they guaranteed territorial and social reforms.
In the meantime, the Normans entered the Mezzogiorno with banal pretexts as the protection of piligrims or as mercenaries in the defense of the coastal towns. Later on they succeed, also thanks to the Pope support, in ruling the region.
As a result of many dominations , the region has many different dialects: a sort of Neapolitan dialect is spoken in the northern part of Puglia, in the south the Salentino is spoken, while in some of the most southern small villages of Salento area it is spoken the Griko dialect, which shows strong contacts with the Hellenic language.