The natural harbour of Brindisi lies on the Adriatic coast of Italy 45 miles N of the port of Otranto and 68 miles N of Capo Santa Maria di Leuca
at the SE tip of the Italian peninsula. An important settlement since the heydays of Magna Graecia, it acquired the name of Brundisium following its
capture by Rome around 260 BC. Its role as a vital maritime outlet for Roman power was reinforced by the extension of the Via Appia to Brundisium in 264 BC.
Over the next two centuries the town became one of the most important Roman naval bases and a key centre for trade across the Adriatic and the Eastern Mediterranean. Later passing through the hands of the Ostrogoths and Byzantines, the Normans took the town in 1070 and immediately set to work on erecting its castle and cathedral. Like Otranto to the south, Brindisi was subsequently a major port of embarkation for the Crusades. Plagues and earthquakes took their toll and a slow decline began that only halted with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, when Brindisi enjoyed something of a revival in trade.
Today, the harbour is thronged with people and goods awaiting transportation across the Adriatic to Greece. The middle basin has a large, new marina on its N side, the inner basin has a small ‘marina’ operated by the Italian Lega Navale and yachts may also berth alongside or stern-to the quays on the N side of the inner basin or the W side next to the town.