The city of Trani is rich in a historical and cultural tradition that makes it, even today, one of the most intriguing points of interest in the whole South part of Italy.
One of the main symbols of the city is the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta.
The snapshot of this church has every right to be able to represent the simplicity and beauty of this center of Puglia.
When visiting Trani you can not miss a tour of the Swabian Castle built by Frederick II in the first half of the thirteenth century.
In the area closest to the port, a few kilometers from the cathedral, there are some monumental buildings that are worth visiting. Among these stand Palazzo Surdo, Palazzo Lopez and Palazzo Covelli.
For those wishing to indulge in a relaxing walk, the municipal gardens is the ideal solution.
One of Trani’s most impressive tours is definitely about the Jewish quarter. In this narrow and interesting corner of the city, once there were four synagogues that were converted into Catholic churches in the sixteenth century.
If you choose Trani, most likely, you will also want to have fun and taste the exquisite culinary specialties of the place. Trani is a quiet town that, even in summer, offers the opportunity to combine the desire for the sea with the irrepressible desire to have fun and unplug.
Isolated on a hill of the Murgia Pugliese, stands Castel del Monte, the most famous monument of the era of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia.
Castel del Monte has the uniqueness of the octagonal plan in whose center there is a courtyard, perhaps originally occupied by a swimming pool. At the corners of the polygon there are eight structures, also octagonal, which look like towers but whose height does not exceed that of the body of the castle, in the distance the building looks like a crown.
First of all it must dive into prehistory. Not far from the city there are innumerable rocky cavities to be explored such as the Grotte di Santa Croce, occupied in the Neolithic. But the real protagonists are them, the Dolmen, ancient funeral buildings. Among these we remember the Dolmen of Chianca, the prehistoric monument perhaps the most famous in Italy and among the most important in Europe, which probably served as a sacrificial altar
In addition to a sea full of equipped beaches, this city of Puglia offers an incredible amount of historical evidence. Everything speaks of epic battles, clashes between knights, great characters that made her famous. To take a dip in the past you do not need to take the time machine: just visit the historical center; in the Middle Ages the city was an important crossroads for pilgrims heading to the Holy Land or to the Crusaders. This is demonstrated by the beautiful Gothic-Romanesque churches such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Near the latter there is the famous Colossus of Barletta, also called Eraclio. This gigantic bronze statue was probably built in the 5th century and is of Byzantine origin. Also worth visiting is the Disfida winery, where according to tradition the famous duel between Italians and French took place.
The visit starts from the Castle and then penetrates into the Old Town or the historical center, enclosed by Corso De Tullio that runs along the new port, and waterfront Imperatore Augusto.
Continuing we arrive at the Cathedral, the church is Romanesque and was dedicated to S. Sabino, inside is the crypt that preserves in the altar the relics of S. Sabino and the icon of the Madonna Odegitria.
Imposing is the basilica of S. Nicola inside lies the crypt supported by 26 columns with Romanesque and Byzantine capitals and houses under the altar the tomb of St. Nicholas. In addition, the basilica houses the Museum of the Basilica of S. Nicola, where the precious treasure of the church is kept.
Continuing the visit from the historic center you arrive in Piazza Ferrarese.
For shopping we end our visit in Via Sparano, one of the most famous shopping streets.
POLIGNANO A MARE
Polignano stands on the top of a rocky ridge overlooking the sea, the cliff is full of natural coves and sea caves.
Once you enter the historic center, the visitor will be able to admire numerous terraces overlooking the sea. Imposing is the Palazzo del Feudatario, the residence of the gentlemen who have governed Polignano for years, offering the spectator all the grandeur of its façade.
In the square named after Vittorio Emanuele II, formerly the watch-square, so baptized because the great clock stands there, stands the Chiesa Matrice, one of the oldest and most important constructions of the town, it stands out thanks to the large quadrangular bell-tower. Outside the historic core, there is an old port that occupies the great bay called cala Paura, a natural phenomenon of unparalleled beauty.
You must visit the crypts and the rock villages of worship. The Castle Carlo V in Monopoli has a pentagonal plan with towers at the top and contains several treasures. Very important from the historical-artistic point of view:
- The rock church of San Nicola de Pinna, founded at the end of the tenth century by the Saxon monopolitano;
- The Palmieri Palace of the century XVIII.
Finally, adjacent to a small Apulian-Greek rock church stands on a cliff, embraced by two coves, the Abbey of St. Stephen.
Valle d’Itria is distinguished by a nature that dominates the landscape: along the road the view alternates with the view of centuries-old olive groves, vineyards, villages, farms and traditional white trulli.
The places that are part of the Valle d’Itria are: Alberobello (Unesco Heritage), Cisternino and Locorotondo (listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy) Martina Franca (from the Baroque style), Castellana (with its famous Castellana Caves, a suggestive stop between tunnels and natural spectacles), Putignano (famous for the Carnival), Noci, Fasano, the white city of Ostuni, Ceglie Messapica, Villa Castelli.
Every place in the Valle d ‘Itria has a particularity that makes it worthy of being known.
Matera is famous for its exceptional historical center, in particular for its most characteristic districts, the Sasso “Caveoso” and the “Barisano” Sasso, today referred to as the Sassi of Matera, included by the U.N.E.S.C.O. on the list of World Heritage Sites.
Over the centuries, the dwellings of Sasso Caveoso at the extreme southern margins have increasingly been used as cellars for the production and conservation of wine.
In the Civita, the most ancient nucleus of the town, to visit are the Piazza Duomo and the palaces that overlook it, including Palazzo Gattini and the Palazzo della Curia.