Most people believe that the name Ugento
originally comes from "Ausentum", "Auso" meaning "shiny/bright". In the Palaeolithic period, the Ionian Sea was infact called the Ausonium. All agree that it was during the Mesopotamian period when Ugento started to be known as a rich and well-populated centre on the coast of Puglia
. In fact due to the territorial nature of the Mesopotamian system of rule this town was the state capital. It had its own army and mint and was surrounded by a city wall. These walls were the most impressive in Puglia and were a notable defence. It had a perimeter of 4900 m and enclosed an area of around 150 hectares. It was during the domination of the Roman Empire that Ugento built a theatre, an amphitheatre, had a forum and a prison. It was the public administrative seat and had a magistrate's court.
The monuments most worth visiting at Ugento are the church of San Biago, built to an octagonal design in the 1800's, the Benedictine monastery, the church of St Anthony of Padua, the cathedral and the clock tower. The church of St Cosma and Daminiano with its tiled roof is a wonderful reminder of the Byzantine era.
Count Giovanni, Carlo I of Angio, Adenolfo of Aquinas, Artus, Orsini, Del Balzo, are just some of the nobility who have lived in the fortified castle of Ugento. From 1967 the ancient monastery of the Minori Brothers has been converted to an archaeological museum.
About 1 km from Ugento is the Crypt of the Crucifix which is annexed to the Church of the Madonna of Constantinople, and the Grotto of Colombaia.
Above all Ugento is noted for its Marina and the Torre San Giovanni. The coastline here is characterised by its golden sandy beaches nestled along a sandy coastline.