The city of Ugento, with its small harbour, is situated in the Province of Leece, in Apulia, on the Gulf of Tarentum. It is the ancient Uxentum , and claims to have been founded by Uxens, who is mentioned in the Eighth Book of the Æneid. In ancient times it was an important city. In 1537 it was destroyed by the Turks. Under the Byzantine domination it had Greek bishops. Of the Latin bishops the first known was the Benedictine Simeon, of unknown date.
Others worthy of mention are: St. Charles Borromeo (1530-37); Antonio Sebastiano Minturno, poet (1559); the Carmelite Desiderio Mazzapica (1566), who was distinguished at the Council of Trent ; and the great canonist Agostino Barbosa (1649). In 1818 the diocese of Alessano (the ancient Leuca) was united to that of Ugento. The Greek rite flourished in many places in this diocese until 1591, when it was abolished by Bishop Ercole lancia. The diocese is suffragan of Otranto, and contains 30 parishes, 60,000 souls, 129 priests, secular and regular, 1 house of male religious, 4 houses of female religious, and 3 schools for girls.
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