Barletta Tourist Attractions
The busy port of Barletta, one of the principal towns of Apulia, lies on the Adriatic coast between Foggia and Bari.
At the junction of Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Garibaldi, Barletta's busiest traffic intersection, stands the church of San Sepolcro (end 13th century), an early Gothic building on the Burgundian model with a rich treasury.
In front of the church of San Sepolcro in Barletta is a bronze statue, over 5m/16ft high, of a Byzantine emperor (perhaps Valentinian I; d. 375), the finest piece of colossal sculpture in bronze from ancient times. The Venetians brought it back from Constantinople to Italy in the 13th century and left it after a shipwreck on the beach of Barletta.
Santa Maria Maggiore
A little way to the northeast of the Museo Civico, at the end of the narrow Via del Duorno, the continuation of the Corso Garibaldi, is the cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore. The facade and campanile (13th century) are built in Romanesque style, while the other parts of the building, including the choir, were added in the 14th-15th centuries. The church contains a tomb of the count of Barby and Mühlingen (d. 1566), with an inscription in German and a fine pulpit and tabernacle (both 13th century).
Beyond the cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore in Barletta is the massive Castello, originally built by the Hohenstaufens in the 13th century, with four bastions added in 1537.
Northwest of the cathedral in Barletta stands the church of Sant'Andrea with a Romanesque doorway (13th century).
On the promontory north of Barletta is the Porta Marina (1751); to the east of this is the harbor and to the west the bathing beach.
Drive from Barletta via Castel del Monte (Approximately 90km,56 miles)
There is an attractive drive south to Castel del Monte. The road comes first in 12km/7mi, to Andria, once the favorite residence of the Emperor Frederick II; the crypt of the cathedral contains the tombs of Iolante of Jerusalem (d. 1228) and Isabella of England (d. 1241 at Foggia), the second and third wives of the emperor. The church of Sant'Agostino has a richly decorated doorway (14th century).
Castel del Monte
From Andria it is another 18km/11mi to the Castel del Monte or Casteldelmonte (540m/1,782ft), the most imposing Hohenstaufen castle in Italy, built about 1240 as a hunting lodge for Frederick II, probably to his own design. The massive limestone structure, in Early Gothic style, is an exact octagon, with a beautiful courtyard and eight towers; on each floor there are eight rooms of the same size, which originally had rich marble decoration. The rooms on the upper floor, with particularly fine windows, are believed to have been the emperor's apartments. Later the castle served as the prison of his grandsons, the sons of Manfred. From the roof there are panoramic views extending as far as Monte Gargano.
There is an attractive drive west of Castel del Monte (21km/13mi) to Minervino Murge (429m/1,416ft; pop. 14,000), splendidly situated on the highest part of the Murge. Because of the extensive views from here it is also called "Balcony of Apulia". The town has a castle and a small cathedral. In a park outside the town is a large war memorial, the Faro votivo ai Caduti. From the north side of the park there are fine views of the town and surroundings.
Canosa di Puglia
16km/10mi north of Minervino Murge is Canosa di Puglia (105m/347ft; pop. 31,000), built on the site of the important Roman town of Canusium. There are remains of Roman walls, a town gate (to the west, outside the modern town) and the ruins of an amphitheater of some size (near the station). The principal church, San Sabino, contains eighteen ancient columns; in the choir is a marble bishop's throne supported by elephants (1078-89, by Romualdus) and in the nave a marble pulpit (c. 1120). In the court to the south (entered from the south aisle) is the chapel, with a massive bronze door by Rogerius of Melfi, where Prince Boemond of Taranto (d. 1111), ruler of the Latin principality of Antioch is buried.
From Canosa di Puglia it is 22km/14mi northeast to Barletta. About half-way there, off the road to the left, is the cemetery of the ancient town of Cannae, the place where Hannibal defeated the Romans in 216 B.C. (museum; medieval cemetery of the ninth-11th centuries).