Brindisi it was and it still is a major port for trade with the East, Greece and the Middle East, it was an Ancient Greek settlement predating the Roman expansion.
The Latin name, Brundisium, (the Greek Brentesion) comes from the branched “Y” shape of its natural harbour, that from the Messapic language means stag’s head.
“Fare un brindisi” in italian language means “let’s make a toast”, the legend says that the Roman soldiers when they left for war, walked over the Via Appia, that actually ends in Brindisi, all the way from Rome to board from the harbour and concur new territories. Before they left, they made out a toast for a successful war and a good and healthy return. This toast got the name of the city Brindisi.
The via Appia, was one of the most important roads for the Romans that built, to sign the end, two columns, of which only one still stands today (the second collapsed in 1528 and people from Lecce used it to build their column for S.Oronzo in the main square).
For forty years, from 1870 till 1914, the legendary “Indian mail” (Valigie delle Indie) connected directly Brindisi with Bombay for the journey from London Victoria Station.