Highlights of Apulia
We have put together some of the cultural highlights of the Southern Italian region Apulia. Join us on a group tour to beautiful Italy or plan your next corporate or team event with us!
Apulia's top attractions
Beautiful village Conversano
Conversano is an old and lively city at the foot of the high plateau Murgia. It lies in an altitude of 219m and dazzles with its impressing Castello. The historic old town offers many beautiful cafés and a large Piazza.
After takeover of the city by the Dukes of Conversano in the 11th century, the city was designated to a diocesan town. Many monasteries and noble families settled in Conversano and built magnificent Palazzi, which still show the past wealth of the city. In the 15th century, Conversano was taken over by the family of Aquaviva, which fortified the city with big town walls. Partially, they can still be visited at the Porta Tarantina. The trapezoidal Castello was built by the Normans and was converted to a castle by the Aquavivas. Today, it is private property but can be visited upon request.
Bari – the capital of Apulia
The capital Bari is the second largest city of Southern Italy, after Naples. It is considered as one of the most important harbour and university cities of the Adriatic Coast. It is a city of contrasts: the difference between its old town and the modern city centre is huge, as is the gap between poor and rich. The old town dazzles with its narrow streets and historical buildings and the modern city shows its wealth with wide avenues and modern office complexes.
The exhibition “Fiera di Levante”, which is annually organized since 1930, is the second largest trade fair in Italy after the fair in Milano. Once, the harbour of Bari was a gateway to the world and was an important trading harbour since the Romans. The trade with the Orient brought much wealth to the city. The transfer of the remains of the holy St. Nicholas from Myra to Bari lead to more wealth. It is still celebrated annually from May 7th to 9th, when the mortal remains arrived in Bari.
Today, the remains are housed in the Basilica San Nicola, and still attract many pilgrims. Another famous monument of the cathedral is the bishop’s seat of Elias from the 11th century. The cathedral San Sabina is worth a visit as well. It was built from 1170 – 1178 and dazzles with the fascinating ornaments and medieval frescoes of the crypt.
The harbour city Trani
Trani dazzles with monuments and buildings made of the bright limestone Pietra Tranese, which lets the city seem to glow. Today, it is still mined and manufactured in the region around Trani. The beautiful cathedral San Nicola Pellegrino is the highlight of the city, and consists of a double church and a crypt.
The grottos of Castellana
Some people say that the grottos of Castellana are the most beautiful and fascinating grottos of Italy. They was first explored by Franco Anelli in 1938 and before that time were meant to be the gate to hell. The inside of the large cave was avoided by the local people and they just used it to dispose waste and animal carcasses.
The cave has a wide opening at the earth’s surface, where the light hits a large group of fascinating stalagmites, which are formed by dropping water and sediments of calcite. The further you go inside the grotto, you will find large columns from stalagmites and stalactites, which were formed within centuries. One of the fascinating stalactite sculptures is formed like a wolf.
A tour through the grotto leads you to the White Grotto, or Grotta Bianca, which is the most fascinating of the caves. The beauty of the alabaster-coloured sculptures is awesomely highlighted by artificial light.
Apulia is diverse. Choice is yours.
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