The construction work of the abbey of San Vito, of the Benedictine foundation, began in the tenth century.
Over time, the original structure has undergone several changes until it reaches its current appearance, greatly enriched with stylistic contaminations barocco. Particularly suggestive and scenographic is the flight of steps external connected to the loggia overlooking the sea.
Originally, the place where the abbey complex stands now, had to correspond to the ancient one Apaneste, as a resting place along the via Traiana.
Thanks to its very particular position and above all its easy connection with the inland villages, between the 5th and 7th centuries the Basilian monks. They found hospitality and hospitality in the rocky shelters, of which this area is particularly rich for the nature of its territory.
According to a legend it was the monks, followers of San Basilio, to welcome the relics di San Vito and his preceptors, Modesto and Crescenza, joined in Polignano with the Florentine princess from Florence in the year 801.
According to a legend, it is said that Fiorenza was rescued by a storm on the river Sele just from San Vito that appeared to her in the terrible moment; he made a vote at the Holy to keep his mortal remains and it was his own San Vito to indicate the place to store them relics.
So the princess bought some farms of the Castrum and he gave them as a gift to the Benedictine friars who became the custodians of the remains of San Vito. Just following that episode theabbey he began to acquire his remarkable prestige.
From the XIII century, theabbey became an ecclesiastical benefit devolved to the Holy See and subsequently Pope Leo X he entrusted it to the Fathers of the Holy Twelve Apostles of Rome who administered it until the 1809.
Subsequently the complex underwent profound transformations: all 'abbey, between the 1600 and 1700 architectural changes were made according to the style of the era, an example is the balustrade loggia with five arches on the front facing the sea.
Towards the end of the 18th century, theabbey and its agricultural properties, passed to the marquises Tavassi-La Greca, current owners.
The many alterations, which took place over the centuries, did not affect the building that still retains its original form.
Il enclosure walled that surrounds it, bounded by four towers angular and dai porches who for centuries have welcomed pilgrims from all over the world to ask for the intercession of San Vito, known above all as a protector from tarantula bites.
La church, incorporated in monastero and perhaps built on the ruins of an ancient Roman tower, it has a dome-shaped structure, a feature that spread in Puglia between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.
The interior, restored in the sixties, still retains a precious triptych of the saints Vito, Modesto and Crescenza dating back to the 1691. In the small museum i ex voto e twelve canvases depicting the apostoli dating back to the seventeenth century ..
Address: Via S. Vito, 241, 70044 Polignano A Mare BA