Situated in the heart of the Tavoliere delle Puglie (Table of Apulias), the prehistoric and second most extensive plain in Italy, rises the city as well as the province, of Foggia that, with its approximately 152 thousand inhabitants, is the third most populous municipality in the region. The origins of the city reach far back in time: during the Neolithic age, the current municipal territory of Foggia was part of one of the greatest villages of Europe, and already during this age the predominant economic activity of the territory based on agriculture was already defined. The cultivation of cereals, which today has evolved into an intensive cultivation, has always dominated the landscape and the territory of the province of Foggia, historically famous as one of the “granaries” of the peninsula, thanks, above all, to the level conformation of the ground and later on to the extensive reclamation of the swampy and marshy areas. Important pages of the history of the city were written during the Norman domination of the XII century, but particularly with one of the more fascinating and controversial historical personages of XII century, the Puer Apuliae, Frederic II of Swabia. His love for the city and all the commanded territory, considered an ideal place for hunting, was such that in 1223 the capital of the Reign of Sicily was moved from Palermo to Foggia where a majestic imperial palace, the Palatium, was erected in which he often stayed with all his court. Today only an inscribed stone conserved in the Portal of Frederic II remains. Under the Aragonese domination of the following century, the chief town of Dauno wrote an important chapter in the history of the practice of transhumance with the imposition of a tax on all the shepherds through the “sheep customs”, the symbol of which was the Palace of Customs itself, notably affecting the local economy.


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