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San Severo
—  Comune  —
Comune di San Severo

Coat of arms
San Severo is located in Italy
San Severo
Location of San Severo in Italy
Coordinates: 41°41′N 15°23′E / 41.683°N 15.383°E / 41.683; 15.383Coordinates: 41°41′N 15°23′E / 41.683°N 15.383°E / 41.683; 15.383
Country Italy
Region Apulia
Province Foggia (FG)
 - Total 333 km2 (128.6 sq mi)
Elevation 90 m (295 ft)
Population (2001)
 - Total 55,861
 - Density 167.8/km2 (434.5/sq mi)
 - Demonym Sanseveresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 71016
Dialing code 0882
Patron saint Saint Severinus Abbot, Saint Severus Bishop, Maria SS. del Soccorso
Saint day Monday after third Sunday in May
Website Official website

San Severo is a city and comune of the province of Foggia in the southern Italian region of Apulia.

It rises on the foot of the spur of Gargano and is cathedral city since 1580. San Severo has still the ruins of its old fortifications.

Detail of the façade of the Church of St. Lawrence.



San Severo was founded in the 11th century around a small church built by the Benedictine monks from Montecassino. Its development as trade town was rapid. In 1053 it represented the scene of the historical victory by Robert Guiscard over the papal troops under Pope Leo IX (see Battle of Civitate). After rising up against the royal authority, it was completely destroyed by Emperor Frederick II in 1233 and was sold to the Knights Templar. After that it became a royal town and seat of the Governor of the Capitanata - ancient name of the province of Foggia - and the province of Molise.

In 1579, because of its decline, it was sold to the princess of Sangro.

In 1799 the town was conquered by the French soldiers and destroyed again. The overlordship was inherited from the Benedictine monks of the abbey of Torremaggiore, the Knights Templars, the Crown of Naples and the family possessing the Valley of Sangro, the lords of Torremaggiore.

In 1627, 1828 and 1851 the town endured several damaging earthquakes.

During World War II San Severo was the home of a U.S. airbase of the Fifteenth Air Force. P-51 fighters of the 31st Fighter Brigade lead the armed escorts and support operations from San Severo on April 2, 1944 to March 3, 1945.

San Severo is famous for its yearly festival held on the third Sunday of May. Called "La Festa del Soccorso" (The Festival of Help/Aid), it is held in honor of the patron saints of San Severo, "La Madonna del Soccorso" (The Madonna of Help/Aid), St. Severinus Abbot and Saint Severus Bishop. During this festival, San Severo has plenty of nighttime and daytime fireworks in order to celebrate Our Lady. The daytime fireworks are the biggest attraction. Extremely loud firecracker chains (some which can be termed downright explosive) are placed along the city streets. In many cases they extend for kilometers. A common practice is for young males to run along the firecrackers as they explode down the street. These people are called 'fuejentes' (people who enjoy running through the fireworks)and are proud to keep to this traditional "race through the fireworks" alive. For this reason San Severo is called "the city of fireworks".

Main sights

  • Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption (Santa Maria Assunta) now in Baroque style, housing a valuable 12th century font.
  • Mother Church of St. Severino (Chiesa Matrice di San Severino) - which has conserved part of the Romanesque exterior.
  • Church of St. Laurence (Chiesa di San Lorenzo) in Baroque style.
  • Church of Pietà (Chiesa della Pietà) in Baroque style.
  • Palace of the Bishop (Palazzo del Vescovo).
  • Palace of the Seminary (17th century, Palazzo del Seminario).
  • Theatre "Giuseppe Verdi" (1937).

The Madonna "La Madonna del Soccorso" (The Madonna of Help/Aid) is black and her infant is white.

Famous people

  • Raimondo di Sangro (1710 – 1771), a learned, eccentric and controversial free-thinker and inventor, became Prince of San Severo. The plant sansevieria is named in honor of him.
  • Mario Carli (1888 - 1935), poet, novelist, essayist, diplomat, and journalist.
  • Andrea Pazienza (1956 - 1988), comics artist.
  • Michele Pazienza (1982), football (soccer) player.


External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

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