Welcome to Foggia, a city located in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. With a population of over 150,000, Foggia is the capital of the province of Foggia and the main city of the Tavoliere plain, also known as the granary of Italy. Let’s explore the rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine that make Foggia a must-visit destination.
Foggia’s history dates back to Neolithic times, and the city has been settled by various civilizations throughout the centuries. The name Foggia is believed to derive from the Latin word fovea, meaning pit, which refers to the pits where wheat was stored. The city’s etymology remains uncertain, but it could also stem from Phocaea or the Medieval Greek word for fire, fotia. Legend has it that the original settlers of the 11th century discovered a panel portraying the Madonna Nicopeia, on which three flames burnt, which led to the name Foggia.
Foggia’s historical landmarks are a testament to its rich past. The cathedral of Santa Maria de Fovea, probably erected about 1179, is directly linked with the patron saint Madonna dei Sette Veli (Madonna of the Seven Veils). The site has two levels of architectural style: the lower part is Romanesque, as with many Apulian churches, and the upper part is a remarkable example of Baroque. The upper part was reconstructed after a 1731 earthquake that destroyed a great part of the historical center. Palazzo Dogana, the historical seat of the sheep custom, was elected by UNESCO as Messenger Monument of the Culture of Peace for its role in the cultural exchanges during centuries. Other notable landmarks include Chiesa delle Croci (Church of the Crosses), I Tre Archi (The Three Arches), Arco di Federico II (Arch of Frederick II), and the Archaeological park of Passo di Corvo.
Foggia’s economy is centered around communication and industry, and it is the main wheat market of Southern Italy. The city is famous for its watermelons and tomatoes, and the agricultural sector remains the mainstay of Foggia’s economy. This area is nicknamed the granary of Italy. The few industries present are mostly devoted to food processing, and craftsmanship is also encouraged and developed.
Foggia is a transportation hub, with Foggia railway station forming part of the Adriatic Railway (Ancona–Lecce) and serving as the terminus of the Naples–Foggia railway. It is also a junction for several other, secondary lines, namely the Foggia–Manfredonia, Lucera–Foggia, and Foggia–Potenza railways, making Foggia the most important railway junction of southern Italy and the third one of the whole Italy. Foggia is served by Gino Lisa Airport, which offers direct flights operated with helicopters to Tremiti Islands and Vieste.
Foggia’s climate is a dry summer, Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Winter days are generally between 11 and 13 °C but can be as cool as single figures. Low temperatures are generally above freezing, but frosts are experienced a handful of times a year. Summers are very hot, with temperatures in July and August often reaching 33–38 °C (91–100 °F). Temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F) a handful of times a decade. Extremes are −10.4 °C (13 °F) on 8 January 1985 and 47 °C (117 °F) – the highest temperature recorded in Italy and one of the highest recorded in Europe – on 25 June 2007.
Foggia is home to the football club Calcio Foggia 1920 S.S.D., which plays in Serie C, the third football division in Italy, for the 2020-2021 season. The club earned popular recognition in the early 1990s because of its sparking interpretation of total football led by coach Zdeněk Zeman, which led to promotion to and a brief period in Serie A. The club plays at Stadio Pino Zaccheria, named after Pino Zaccheria, a local pioneer of basketball killed during World War II. In February 2019, Foggia hosted the European Cadet and Junior Fencing Championships.
Foggia is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich past, indulging in delicious local cuisine, or simply soaking up the Mediterranean sun, Foggia has something for everyone. Come and discover this enchanting destination for yourself!