The first historic accounts of Nardo, the second city of the province after the capital to which is it tied by ancient cultural rivalry, come from various archaeological remains of Baia di Uluzzu, attributed to the Mid and Upper Palaeolithic. Founded around the 10th century BC by the Messapi, it was later conquered by the Romans in 269 BC, along with its port Empiorium Nauna (the current S. Maria al Bagno). It was then absorbed at the fall of the Roman Empire by the Byzantine Empire and for a brief period was part of the Longobard Kingdom. First conquered by the Normans in 1055, and then the Angevins in 1266, it was entrusted in 1497 by the Aragonese to Andrea Matteo Acquaviva, under his son, Belisario, who became duke, it became a cultural and religious centre for the entire Salento. After the insurrection against the Spanish in 1647, it experienced an economic and cultural renewal, in part thanks to the work of the Accademia degli Infimi Rinovati.
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