Famous as the city of the Disfida – the Challenge – Barletta has much to offer its visitors: here are the top five reasons to plan a trip there by train.
Barletta is famous for the Disfida of 1503, a Duel between knights of the French and Italian armies, but in addition to history and culture, the city offers many other reasons to plan a trip to discover it. Here are the five most important reasons to plan a trip to Barletta.
To enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the old town.
Nowadays, Barletta is conveniently reached by train (see relevant section), and its main points of interest are all clustered around the historic center. In fact, when you arrive at the Central Station, you can visit the city on foot, losing yourself among grand Baroque stately buildings, castles, and cathedrals. Here you can first admire the Colossus of Heraclius, the five-meter-high bronze statue on the city’s main street, whose origins are still mysterious.
Your tour will then include a stop at the Norman Swabian Castle, dating back to Norman times and later transformed by Charles V into a stronghold, inside which today is the Civic Museum, the Old Gallery, and the Gallery of the 19th century. We recommend also taking a tour of the ramparts, from which you will enjoy a privileged view of the entire city.
Another stop is undoubtedly the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, consisting of a Romanesque building and a Gothic rear part, while the crypt inside is evidence of the ancient early Christian construction.
Among the Baroque-style historic buildings to be admired are the Palazzo Marra, Palazzo Santacroce, and Villa Bonelli.
To visit places of historical importance
As already mentioned, Barletta is the city of the Duel, the Disfida, so you cannot miss a visit to the site of the event: the Cantina della Disfida, or Casa di Veleno, that is, the inn where 13 Italian knights, led by Hector Fieramosca, defeated the French.
But there are many other places of historical interest; it is no coincidence that in 2005 it was recognized as a city of art in Puglia. In the nearby hamlet of Canne, for example, Hannibal won the 216 B.C. war against the Carthaginians and where today you can see the Archaeological Park of Canne, on the hill overlooking the Ofanto valley that was the scene of the battle.
For its 13 kilometers of coastline
Barletta boasts beautiful beaches, a veritable paradise that reaches all the way to Bari, most of them fine sand, except for the east coast, which is rocky. The western shore, Lido di Ponente, is characterized by light-colored sand tending to gray; the eastern shore, Lido di Levante, in fact, is more rocky but equally beautiful. The very long shoreline has equipped beaches that alternate with free areas, and where there is also an area for kitesurfers.
For its gastronomic tradition
Barletta is worth a visit just to soak up the fragrances and flavors of the local cuisine based on local produce, such as extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, fish, meat, and wheat. What to enjoy? Definitely a plate of cavatelli and orecchiette – any sauce is good because fresh pasta in Barletta has an age-old tradition. Then buy some packets of lampascioni, local products similar to onions pickled in oil or vinegar. Also enjoy some fish dishes, some mussels perhaps, and don’t forget the pastarelle, typical local homemade sweets handed down over generations, called “Pscènn d’ì Mònch” in dialect. The area also boasts inimitable DOC wines such as Rosso di Barletta and the aged Rosso di Barletta Invecchiato.
Because of its nightlife
Barletta offers bars and entertainment opportunities for all ages. The nerve centers of Barletta’s nightlife are the old town, particularly the areas around the Swabian Castle and the waterfront, where you can enjoy a drink and listen to music late into the night.
How to reach Barletta by train
Today you can reach Barletta comfortably by train with affordable fares.
Discover train schedules and fares for Barletta, buy your modifiable Low-Cost ticket in advance and reach your favorite destination thanks to high-speed rail and Italo Treno.