Traces of the first settlements date back to the bronze age (XVI century B.C.). It was however during the Messapic Age that Brundisium developed thanks to its port (already existing in the VII-VI centuries B.C.) which had trade relations with the nearby Greece. In 266 B.C. Brindisi was conquered by the Romans and became a very important port on the way to Greece and the East, an importance which grew further after the II century B.C. with road links with Rome along the via Appia and the via Traiana.
After the Romans, the city followed a destiny common to other places in the area; it was invaded by the Goths and the Longobards and was then conquered by the Byzantines and the Normans. Brindisi enjoyed a new period of prosperity during the age of the Crusades, when it became an important port for the Holy Land.
The temple built by the Knights Templar of San Giovanni al Sepolcro and the Swabian castle built by Frederick II in 1225 are proof of that period, while very little remains of the original Romanesque Brindisi Cathedral since it was rebuilt following an earthquake in 1743.