Barletta is one of the three capitals of the province Barletta-Andria-Trani in the southern part of the region of Apulia. It used to be an important Adriatic port. Main reasons to visit are the Cathedral, the Castle and an enormous statue called the Colosso.
Barletta travel guide
Tourist information office: Corso Garibaldi, 208 (Phone: +39 0883 331331 – +39 0883 531555). Town hall: Palazzo di Città – Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 94 (Phone: +39 0883 578111).
How to get there
By car: Barletta is located close to Canosa di Puglia, where the A16 from Naples (the “Highway of the Two Seas” and the A55 from Puglia and the coastal highway E55 intersect.
By train: The main station is called Barletta Centrale. This is the starting point/final stop of the Bari-Barletta train line. The station has a ticket office. There is a second railway station called Barletta Scalo.
By bus: The company STP (Società Trasporti Provinciale SPA) provides services to the surrounding small towns.
Public transportation inside Barletta
The local bus company i called Autolinee Scoppio. A single ticket is 1 Euro. A 12 ticket carnet costs 11 Euros, a monthly pass 30 Euros. There are no day- or week tickets. Tickets cannot be bought from the driver.
The main streets of Barletta are the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Corso Garibaldi.
At the beginning of the Corso Vittorio, you can see the San Giacomo Church. One of the city’s most iconic sights is a 5 meter bronze tall statue called the Colosso, at the the end of this street. The San Sepolcro Church is located behind the statue.
The Corso Garibaldi leads to the harbor. The baroque San Domenico Church hosts the Museo Civico in what used to be its convent. The city castle is located at the end of this street.
At the end of the Corso Garibaldo you enter a neighborhood with a network of narrow streets. Here you will find not only the city’s impressive Duomo, but also the smaller Sant’Andrea Church and the massive Castle.
A brief history of Barletta
Although archaeological finds have shown that the area was already inhabited in the 4th century BC, the first documents mentioning Barletta date back to Roman times.
Under the Normans, the city became an important fortress and trading post.
In 1083, there was a massive increase in population. The Norman troops of Robert Guiscard had destroyed the city of Canne and its citizens had fled to Barletta.
In 1228, when Frederick II embarked on his second crusade, it i here that he proclaimed his son Henry heir to his throne. After the king died, the citizens rebelled, but the uproar was quashed.
From 1291 to 1818, the city was the seat of the Archbishop of Nazareth.
Under Anjou rule, the city flourished. The castle was enlarged, its merchant fleet gained in size and the Anjou concede several privileges.
In 1459, Ferdinand I was crowned King of Napels in Barletta. Later he suffered a siege by the House of Anjou here.
The single most famous event in the history of the city is known as the Challenge of Barletta. On February 13th 1503 thirteen Italians fought thirteen Frenchmen in order to resolve a conflict. The Italians, under Ettore Fieramosca, won. Fieramosca, whose birth house is located in Rome’s Trastevere district, became a national hero and the subject of a novel and several movies.
After the middle ages, a period of decay began. In 1656, there was an epidemic of the Plague, and in 1689 and 1731 earthquakes severely damaged the city.
After the Unification of Italy, the city started a new period of prosperity. Later, electrical, automobile, chemical and leather-working industries all started flourishing. Agriculture (mainly wine and vegetables) also play an important role in the city’s prosperity.
Events and festivals
On the last Sunday of July, a reenactment of the Sfida di Barletta takes place.
Day trips province of Barletta-Andria-Trani
It is probably not what one would expect, but although the province has three capitals, it only consists of ten towns altogether. The two other capitals are Andria and Trani. The remaining towns are Bisceglie, Canosa di Puglia, Margherita di Savoia, Minervino Murge, San Ferdinando di Puglia, Spinazzola and Trinitapoli.