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The town is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The population of Palo del Colle is about 7,500 people (as of December 31, 2015). Palo del Colle has a long history that dates back to the early Middle Ages. It was first mentioned in 998 AD as "Palae". The name comes from the Latin word "palus", meaning swamp or marshland. In 1041 it was conquered by Normans who built a castle on top of the hill where today stands Palazzo Ducale di Bari Sveva (the ducal palace). The city developed around this castle which became an important stronghold for Norman control over southern Italy until its fall in 1266 when Manfredi III da Svevia lost his power after being defeated at Benevento during the civil war between him and Conradin Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily.