Foggia is an important and strategic city in the center of the Tavoliere of Puglia. The name of Foggia derives from the Latin Favea (a cistern where food was stored). This name has been in use since 1089.
The heyday of the city was during the reign of Federico II of Svevia, who built a majestic imperial palace, thus confirming the importance of the city as a strategic base in the center of the Apulian Tavoliere.
Foggia was often sacked and completely destroyed. In 1528 it was completely devastated by the French during the French-Spanish war and in 1731 it was razed to the ground by an earthquake.
A must-see is the Cathedral of S. Maria Icona Vetere in Foggia. It is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture with Baroque touches, although it has undergone numerous changes. It was founded in 1162 by William II, "the Good", but was almost completely rebuilt after the 1731 earthquake. Inside the Cathedral, in the Cappella Dell'Icona Vetere, the Byzantine icon is preserved, which according to legend was discovered by the shepherds who found a panel depicting the Madonna on which three burning flames danced, now the symbol of the city.