Galatone is located in the south-eastern area of the region. According to some scholars, it was probably first settled by the Galatians, while others mention the Thessalians. In the Middle Ages, the town was involved in the much spread struggles for power of the region between Saracens, Hungarians and Byzantines. The Byzantine-Hellenistic penetration gave this territory a strong cultural, artistic, social and organisational mark with the pyrgoi (defence towers), the kastellia, kastra (small and large fortified towns), the koria (small organised agricultural communities). A cultural identity consolidated around this original nucleus because religious rituals were held in a Greek-Byzantine idiom. During the Norman-Swabian period, the administration of the feud and a clearly Byzantine cultural identity developed consistently. In the XV century, the town was besieged by Giovanni Antonio Del Balzo Orsini. The long peaceful period that followed Orsini’s death was interrupted in 1480 by the Turk invasion first, and by the Venetians’ invasion later, for the control of the Adriatic Sea.
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