Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Art Cities and Food Traditions in Puglia Italy

Apulia (Puglia) is located in southern Italy; it borders the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southernmost portion, the Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the boot of Italy.


Art Cities
Lecce is known as the Baroque city and the Florence of the south because of its magnificent architecture constructed with the famed Lecce Stone. Itinerary: Porta Napoli; Piazza del Duomo Cathedral and Belfry, Episcopio and Seminary Palace; Sant’Irene Church; Piazza Sant’Oronzo and Amphitheater, Sedile, Chiesa di San Marco Church and Sant’Oronzo Column; Santa Croce Basilica; Celestini Convent.
Barletta once a fortress, the Barletta’s castle was once surrounded by the sea. The historic center visit includes: Santa Maria Maggiore Cathedral; Eraclio’s Colossus, Santo Sepolcro Basilica and large bronze statue; Marra Palace, the Orsini family residence; Porta Marina, a unique example of a city wall gate; Cantina della disfida, the legendary battle between Italian soldiers of fortune led by Ettore Fieramosca and the French Army.

Trani the castle is the best preserved and most important among those erected by Frederic II. The Cathedral of San Nicola, the queen of cathedrals in Apulia, was built along the seashore, as was the castle, with a Latin cross layout, is divided into three naves and twin columns, a unique feature among the region’s Romanesque churches. The historic center itinerary included a visit to the Jewish quarter and two ancient synagogues.

Lucera this ancient town boasts one of the largest historic centers in Italy which holds the Cathedral of the Assumption, built on the foundations of an ancient mosque. Trani’s highest hill contains the Roman acropolis and a Swabian-Angevin fortress; the latter is a major archeological that features neolithic huts, Roman ruins and from a Frederic II palace as well as the remnants of the medieval era Church of St Francis. Finally, the Roman Amphitheater, Apulia’s most important Roman era structure.
Bari the most important city on the Adriatic Sea presents a medieval historic center that contains the city’s most important monuments, folkloristic features and the imposing San Nicola Cathedral.

Altamura is characterized by a series of cloisters, including a Jewish one. It’s religious history is quite unique in that for seven centuries, beginning with the Frederic II era, Altamura’s bishops were appointed  by the prevailing secular powers; the Lateran Pact of 1929, governing relations between the Italian State and the Vatican, returned this specific power to the papacy. A major attraction is a visit to 15th Century stone oven that produces the classic Altamura bread and the Apulian focaccia.


Taranto can be defined as 2700 years of history on an island-historic center between two bodies of water, the Mar Piccolo and the Mar Grande. This unique setting contains a Greek acropolis, Roman and Renaissance architecture and baroque residences. Among Taranto’s principal mounuments: the Aragonese Castle, the Doric Temple’s column, S. Cataldo Cathedral and the Convent of San Domenico.

Ask us about our anchor locations from which you can best base your travel movements, mindful that you are likely to visit three to four places in a compressed period of time, typically 7 to 10 days, and experience multiple interests that range from cultural to culinary, wellness and the environment.

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Castel Del Monte Frederic II’s octagonal structure is unique in form and function. The form presents architectural considerations as well as still mostly unexplained symbolisms. An exterior and interior tour focus on the times when the castle was built as well the history of the emperor who commissioned it.

Alberobello the Trulli trace their origin to a 15th Century edict by the Kingdom of Naples requiring tribute for every new settlement. Alberobello’s owners, the Counts of Conversano, instructed their subject to build temporary structures, not subject to any form of taxation. Furthermore, these stone structures required self-supporting domes as rooftops, made of superimposed circles of stones; hence the peculiar cusp shape.

Monte Sant’Angelo is located in Apulia’s Gargano promontory. The medieval quarter is characterized by terraced houses, traces of its Longobard period and the Sanctuary with the cult of the Archangel Michael who, according to tradition, appeared in a grotto. Also, the Norman Castle, the historic center and St’ Michael’s Basilica.
Otranto situated on Salento’s Adriatic Coast, is Italy’s easternmost town. With Messapi, Roman, Byzantine and Aragonese roots, it developed around its imposing castle and Norman Cathedral. Additional points of interest: the defensive walls and gate, the historic center, s. Peter’s Church, the Cathedral with Martyrs’ Chapel, vault and floor mosaics.
Archeological Museums

Egnazia Museum and Park is located between an olive grove and the sea. Partially excavated, it contains mostly Roman era finds: Via Traiana, Civil Basilica, oriental divinity shrine, an amphitheater and a colonnaded square. The museum is divided into 7 areas that illustrate the town’s history from bronze era huts to the medieval period that ended in the 13th Century, when Egnazia was abandoned by its population.

The Bisceglie Dolmen is Italy’s most recognized prehistoric monument. It consists of a two meter high quadrangular cell made of three vertical stone slabs that hold a larger fourth slab acting as a roof. The left slab has two openings, probably for the flow the sacrificial victims’ blood. The cell has an external corridor – dromos - with small stone slabs. Among the cell’s finds: charred animal bones, human skeletons, various plates and utensils.

Taranto Archeological Museum the MARTA collections lead to a complete picture of the city’s ancient history. Emphasis is on Greek Taranto’s funeral culture and the finds uncovered in the city’s necropolis and Greek society: theater, games, symposia and artistic expressions. Also, a review of the Roman era as illustrated by the museum’s mosaic floors.

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