Puglia c/o Frederick II
Cathedrals and castles of Northern Puglia.
We enter the historic center of Foggia via the Porta Arpana, the old city gate known locally as 'the three arches'. Immediately to the right, there is the Umberto Giordano Conservatory and, to the left, the Civic Museum with arch originating from the Palazzo di Federico, all that remains of what was once the Royal Residence of the Swabian King.
Despite its being victim of a violent earthquake in 1731, and heavy bombing during the second world war, Foggia is, nevertheless, still home to any number of beautifully conserved patrician town houses, complete with the crests of the aristocratic families who originally inhabited them, ornate Baroque houses of worship such as the Churches of S.Giovanni Battista, S.Domenico and the Addolorata, and the remains of the 17th century Epitaph.
Barletta: the beautiful battleground
Traveling southwards, the landscape changes quite significantly and from Canosa di Puglia onwards, the flat lands of Tavoliere give way to the green slopes of the Daunia Pre-Apennines which announce our arrival in the Murgia Barese.
Barletta, the most important coastal city of the Land of Bari, is known as site of the historic Disfida (to which a monument has been erected in the center of town): the battle between French and Italian troops which concluded in Italian victory
Barletta has its fair share of artistic and architectural masterpieces, the most famous being its immense moated Castle, now frequently used as venue for theatrical performances and other cultural events, and the Cathedral of S.Maria Maggiore, around which today's town center has developed.
Andria's astrological castle
The 13th century Castel del Monte is the emblem of the Murgia Barese. Dominating the surrounding landscape from the heights of its hilltop position, the castle is located in the comune of Andria, not far from where the legendary Battle of Canne took place.
Declared world heritage site by UNESCO, the castle is associated with any number of local legends and, due to its distinctive octagonal form, has even been attributed astrological significance. The historic center of Andria boasts a number of important edifices including the Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Ceci Ginistrelli, the austere Church of Sant Agostino and the Clock Tower.
Youth culture and kestrals in Trani
One of Puglia's most loved tourist destinations, Trani is especially popular with Puglia's fashion conscious and fun loving younger generations, who gather on the city's beaches and in the numerous restaurants, clubs and wine bars lining the seafront promenade.
The attractive historic center is well worth a visit, so as to admire Trani's Cathedral, Castle, and Scolanova synagogue.
Together with Barletta and Andria, Trani, is part of the sixth province of Puglia.
The Barletta-Andria-Trani province is home to great part of the National Park of Alta Murgia, and Italy's largest population of the Lesser Kestral