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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

The Brindisi Cathedral, Brindisi, Italy

(Also known as Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista)

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli  

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Europe is full of Christian Cathedrals and churches. It's easy to get "Church fatigue" and it's understandable. However, the history involved in the making of these buildings goes beyond the seeming repetition of the similarities from one to the other.

This grand bell-towered Cathedral (or Duomo) is the medieval heart of historic Brindisi.

It is is considered the jewel of the city and is a prominent landmark here.

Even though the Brindisi Cathedral is located roughly 500 meters away from the two Roman Columns marking the symbolic end of the famous Roman Appian Way, it was built long after the fall of the Roman Empire.

the front of the Cathedral of Brindisi, Brindisi, Italy

The Entrance of St. John the Baptist Cathedral

Billy and I were following along the Roman-built Appian Way where it ends at the Harbor of Brindisi (which is on the other side of this Cathedral).

With the Cathedral located right on this same road, we walked right into this beautiful structure and the piazza in front of it.

The large door on the right is the entrance to the Cathedral itself. The first archway on the left is the continuation of the Via Colonne which continues along the Appian Way until it ends at the Brindisi Harbor.

Crusaders of the Holy Wars, and pilgrims on their way to and from the Holy Land in the Middle Ages would stop at this Cathedral for worship, reflection and to pray for safe journeys.

 A Byzantine church stood on this same site during the early Christian era around the 4th-7th centuries AD.

The Coronation of Roger, who was anointed the King of Sicily was held here in 1191. This Cathedral also witnessed the marriage of Emperor Frederick II's marriage to Jolanda of Brienne in 1225.

Because Brindisi Harbor was such a vibrant connection for trade to other lands, countless people passed through this area over the centuries.

inside the Cathedral of Brindisi, Brindisi, Italy

Inside the Cathedral





The construction of the Brindisi Cathedral itself began in the 11th century over the ruins of the Byzantine church.

Factors like earthquakes and changes in building plans delayed the completion of this church until the 18th century.

Notice the chandeliers and the various elaborate decorations above the columns.

There are still remnants of the original mosaic pavement from the Byzantine church on the flooring.

Two elderly women in the Cathedral of Brindisi, Brindisi, Italy

Two older women take a break in the Cathedral

The day we visited the inside of the Cathedral, a Mass began outside on the piazza in front.

There was no other obvious way out of the church, and it was uncomfortable (and felt disrespectful) for us to walk behind the altar during this event. Even though we walked with our heads bowed and even crossed ourselves, it still felt out-of-line for us to have been disruptive to the service.

The two women above were watching the Mass while being out of the sun and in the cool of the church. But it looks like they took a moment to chat together.

The main altar of the Cathedral of Brindisi, Brindisi, Italy

A side altar

England's Richard the Lionheart allegedly stopped at Brindisi in 1192 while on his way to the Third Crusade and might have visited the cathedral, which was under construction at the time.  

Numerous Popes throughout history, including John XXIII and Urban VI, passed through Brindisi and most likely the cathedral due to its location on pilgrimage routes.

Right above this altar is a well known rendition of The Last Supper.

A side altar in Brindisi Cathedral, Brindisi, Italy

Another side altar

These elaborately carved wooden stalls were typically used by the clergy and choir during religious services.

On the left is the raised pulpit where sermons were delivered.





A statue of Mary's Assumption into heaven, Brindisi, Italy

A statue of Mary's Assumption into heaven

According to Christian belief, Mary, the Mother of Jesus did not die, but rather her body was fully assumed into heaven.

Archway leads to Vial Colonne of the Appian Way, Brindisi, Italy

Archway leading to Via Colonne

While the origin of the Via Colonne begins somewhere in Northern Brindisi, this section leads right to the end of the Appian Way and the two Roman Columns remaining there.

The Via is an attractive road lined with 17 and 18th century palaces, and it goes right past the Cathedral as you can see here.

The buildings to the left of the archway most likely housed  the bishop and his staff, providing administrative and living quarters. It's also possible that these dwellings accommodated priests associated with the cathedral chapter. Or they could have served as a seminary or school providing for the religious education or training of future priests.

These days some of the buildings are offices for the administrative functions of the Cathedral, like managing finances, scheduling events, or maintaining the property.

Certainly, if you are ever in Brindisi, take a walk along the Appian way, the Via Colonne and visit the famous Cathedral located here.


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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on


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