Capital of the Apulia Region, a very ancient city that overlooks the Adriatic Sea and over time has been a landing place for people and populations coming from the East.
In fact, the city of Bari is defined as the western gateway to the East.
In addition, the Patron Saint of the City is Saint Nicholas, the Saint who unites the East to the West, the Christian Orthodox religion to the Christian one. The city has had innumerable influences over the years that we find in many monuments and architecture of the historic center.
Famous is its seafront that is among the longest in Italy with its 15 Km c.a. which offers the visitor enchanting landscapes and equipped beaches.
The ancient city is the historic district called “Old Bari” is bounded by a wall that separates it from the sea and embraces the Swabian Castle until it merges with the newer part of the Murattiano.
This part of the city, completely renovated in the 1990s, is made up of a series of alleys and lanes with a folkloristic flavor, the colors of the sun, the scent of Mediterranean gastronomy and the spontaneous and joyful welcome of the people of Bari.
The Old Bari (ancient city ) holds the memory of the people of Bari and provides a series of monuments and architecture of great historical and cultural value. In fact, entering inside we find: Romanesque monuments, including the Basilica of San Nicola (XII century), a masterpiece of Apulian Romanesque architecture, where in its interior Saint Nicholas of Myra, from which it takes its name, the Cathedral rests for centuries of San Sabino (1170-1178), in whose archives a famous Exultet (illuminated code) can be dated around 1025.
Moreover, the historical center is full of minor churches, among which interesting from an architectural point of view are the Church of San Gregorio (11th-12th century), the Church of the Trinity, the Church of San Giorgio dei Martiri (or of the Armenians), the Church of Santa Chiara, the Church of San Giuseppe, the Church of San Marco of the Venetians, that of Santa Scolastica, the Church of Santa Pelagia, the Church of the Gesù, the Church of Santa Teresa dei Maschi, with the adjoining Convent, the Church of San Michele and last but not least appreciable, the Church of Vallisa.
In the ancient city, there is the famous Norman-Swabian castle built, at least in its main core that reached us, by Frederick II of Swabia on the site of previous Norman and Byzantine fortifications. Inside you can visit the Gipsoteca following an equipped route.
Another famous building of ancient Bari is the Fortino di Sant’Antonio Abate, built for defensive purposes in the 14th century by the Prince of Taranto Giovanni Antonio Orsini Del Balzo, demolished by the Baresi in 1463 and later rebuilt in the 16th century.
The Piazza del Ferrarese and Piazza Mercantile are enchanting, offering numerous dining and entertainment spots with pubs, restaurants, entertainment bars with showcases of typical local products and craft shops. Along these squares you can take the walk along the Muraglia to admire the beauty of the landscape that opens onto the seafront up to the famous beaches of Pane e Pomodoro and Torre Quetta, equipped for safe swimming.
Close to the Apulian capital, almost in continuity with the territory of Bari it is possible to visit the city of Modugno, located at the center of the communication routes that go towards the North.
In fact the etymology of its name, from a document of 1021, is said to derive from the term “Medunio” or in the middle halfway between two large and important cities of ancient Puglia: Bitonto and Bari. Even if there are other hypotheses that they would bring back the origin of Modugno to the small rise on which it would rise: Metus-genus or Mottu-genus that is risen on the motta.
Although Modugno has been identified as an industrialized city since the 1980s because it is close to the largest industrial area of the south, it can tell an ancient, new and fascinating story through a tourist route in its historic center made up of small and original streets where it is possible to admire churches and palaces from the end of the 500s to the 600s.
Among the churches the most important is the Mother Church dedicated to Santa Maria Annunziata, inside which we can find the famous canvas, the Annunciation by Vivarini.
In addition, in the ancient village there is the Palazzo della Motta, where Queen Bona Sforza resided, the Palazzo della Regia Corte, home of the Captain of the Land of Modugno during the Sforza domination. Still on Piazza del Popolo we find the Palazzo Pascale-Scarli and the Palazzo Cornale with its famous faces. Instead on the characteristic narrow street of Via Conte Rocco Stella we can admire noble palaces like Palazzo Stella-Colavecchio, Palazzo Valerio-Longo, Palazzo Capitaneo. To admire on Piazza del Sedile there is the Clock Tower which at the time was the Sala del Sedile dei Nobili, where the city assemblies took place.
Near the historic center we could stop for a break in the shade of the trees of the municipal villa to continue the journey towards the outskirts of the city to discover the ancient Casale di Balsignano or the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grotta.
Nearby, the landscape is enriched by the presence of the menhir Il monaco, from the dry stone constructions called “casedde” and, again, from millstones and from the trappeto of Montepeloso or red oil.
Country with agricultural origins located in the Bari hinterland, almost 17 km from the capital, it rises on the slopes of the Bassa Murgia.
Of medieval origins, the village of Bitetto began to be built only in the 10th century AD becoming in a short time a consolidated and thriving community, so much so that in the eleventh century it was a bishopric. Destroyed two rows in the XII century for having rebelled against Roger II, it later became a fief of Frederick II, becoming one of the richest cities in the Land of Bari, thanks to a series of monuments and noble palace.
The main monument of the ancient village is the Cathedral of San Michele arcangelo, built in 1335 by Mostro Lillo Da Barletta, commissioned by Bishop Bonocore. The façade is tripartite from parasite with the arched rosette. The interior, restored to its original state in Romanesque style by a renovation in 1959, has three naves with triple ordibe and a three-apse transept in classic Apulian Romanesque style.
Inside the village it is possible to visit the Church of San Domenico from the 11th and mid-12th centuries, the Church of Santa Maria La Veterana, which has exquisitely made frescoes regarding the “Stories of the Virgin”, the “Stories of Christ” , the “Last Judgment”.
Just outside the historic center, a visit to the sanctuary of the blessed Giacomo, founded by the Observant friars in 1432, is a must, offering the opportunity to visit the frescoes in the chapel, the relics and the tomb of the Saint, the museum of work.
A small town of medieval origin, it rises south from Bari and nine kilometers from the sea. Since its origins, it has based its economy on agriculture.
Its name, it is said, that it is of Latin origin “bis-tritum” perhaps alluded to a multiple destruction, that is “destroyed twice” or, a more accredited thesis links the name to the presence of two towers of the two but currently it remains one.
Inside the historic center of Bitritto it is possible to admire, through the use of guided tours, the famous Norman-Swabian-Angevin castle. The castle is the symbol of the city, was built at the behest of the Normans, has a massive masonry structure, embellished with towers and fortifications, which reveal the original nature of defending the city. The precious monument is adorned with balconies and splendid loggias enriched by three-light windows and within its walls the use of sieges and battles of the past resound.
Recently the remains of numerous wells made before the year 1000 were discovered.
Remaining always in the historical center it is possible to admire the imposing historical monuments such as Casa-torre, Collegiata Sant’Angelo the churches and squares
Sannicandro di Bari
Country of Peuceta and Magno Greek origin is important for the Norman-Swabian Castle, located to the east, 2.7 km from the urban center.
Sannicandro extends on the first step of the Murgia Barese, due to its position it allows the shortest way between Bari and Matera, between Bari and Salerno and with Gravina di Puglia.
The ancient Castle stands in the center of Sannicandro, surrounded by a road flanked by private houses.
Founded by the Illyrian king Botone, from which the name derives. The city of medieval origin stands on the edge of a ravine.
Its Cathedral is one of the most important Apulian Romanesque churches its characteristic are the dark stones. On an architectural level it is inspired by the Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Bari. At the center of the ficciata, at the top, there is a beautiful rose window with an arch supported by animals and under it two mullioned windows. The interior has a Latin cross shape and has kept intact the cleanliness of the typical Romanesque forms, is divided into three naves bounded by columns and pilasters. On the left side of the cathedral there is a courtyard overlooked by the bishop’s palace where the “Aurelio Morena” art gallery is located, this preserves wooden sculptures, paintings and frescoes belonging to the city churches.
The city of Bitonto is known as the city of olive trees due to the countless expanses that are found along the territory, it is recognized as the capital of oil and can boast the DOP Terra di Bari title.
It is possible to view the historic center which has a trapezoidal plan, characterized by narrow lanes that overlook the right side of the ravine.
Going beyond the Baresana gate, an ancient gateway to the medieval village, you can admire on the side an imposing circular tower of Angevin construction.
Along Piazza Cavour rises the Sylos Calò palace in late Renaissance style is the seat of the Devanna art gallery, National Gallery of Puglia; inside there are numerous paintings divided into five chronological sections including numerous paintings signed by great Italian and European painters. Among the many are works by Tiziano, Veronese, Giaquinto and De Nittis. There are also works of contemporary art.
A few meters from the art gallery, you arrive at the Museo Civico Eustachio Rogadeo.
Inside the museum there are archaeological finds found in the city territory: prehistoric, Greek and Roman. Near the museum it is also possible to admire the church of the Purgatory with a particular portal decorated with bas-reliefs of human skeletons.
Continuing the journey inside the narrow and winding streets of the historic center we reach the church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, this is one of the few examples of Gothic architecture present in Puglia. What remains original of the church remains the external façade dating back to 1286.
Arriving at the municipal villa, a little further on is the abbey of S. Leo built by the Benedictine monks in the 9th century and then after various successions it arrived to the Franciscans.
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