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In Bari – Apulia’s capital city – they say: “If Paris was by the sea, it would be like a small Bari”. Presumption or arrogance? No, just pride (for which these people are famous, apart from their strong sense of humour).
The pride of living in a city that successfully blends art and deep historic roots with a very modern spirit of business enterprise. Traditionally the “land’s end” that bridged Italy with the worlds of Greece and the Middle East, Bari enjoyed its “golden age” during medieval times.
The Cathedral and Church of St. Nicholas with their Romanesque forms, bear majestic witness to that period. Traces of the ancient trading and social contacts with the Greek world can be seen in the Archaeological Museum.
The blend of history and art that characterizes the monuments of Bari is reflected in many areas of Apulia, where you will often discover cathedrals built during the medieval era such as in Brindisi, Andria, Barletta, Trani, Ruvo di Puglia, Lucera, Troia, Manfredonia, Otranto, and Gallipoli. Belonging to another era yet equally precious and extraordinary is the flourishing of the baroque architecture in the town of Lecce.
In Taranto, the Archaeological Museum has sections of the more remote past. And Alberobello, in the province of Bari, is the capital of the Trulli, singular domains dating back to pre-history no less. As to nature’s wonders, Apulia offers an extraordinary intermingling of mountains, woods and uncontaminated sea, for which the promontory of the Gargano in the province of Foggia is so well renowned.
Apulia is mostly a plain; its low coast, however, is broken by the mountainous Gargano Peninsula in the north, and there are mountains in the north central part of the region.