Tasting the side of a life the guide book fails to mention

Carol Forster defends the Italian town of Barletta
Carol Forster defends the Italian town of Barletta

Having recently seen a bad review of one of my favourite Italian towns in a travel guide, I felt it time to redress the balance a little.

The thing is, Barletta has never pretended to be magnificent Florence or majestical Rome, but in its own way, it is a very special place.

There in prime position on the Adriatic coast and with a very long and wide beach dotted with swaying palms,

Barletta has a very attractive old town, complete with its Duomo, just by the sea.

This whole zone is very appealing and the old medieval buildings in palest creamy stone, are a real eye catcher. I have some gorgeous photos of this area and I’ve spent many a pleasant half hour at the cafe by the Duomo enjoying the views.

The Castello Svevo contains the Museo Civico and Pinacoteca is a fascinating place to visit and has a bust of Frederick II. Another very interesting place to visit is the Pinacoteca di Giuseppe de Nittis, which holds many of the local artist’s paintings as well as other works of art.

Also the Basilica del Santo Sepolcro is lovely to sit in and ponder life’s meaning. Just outside of this you’ll find the incredible figure of Colossus, a huge bronze statue which stands at 5m in height and there are different theories as to its origins, but it is reputedly the largest ancient bronze statue.

This is reason enough to visit Barletta and is quite awe-inspiring. Its juxtaposition by a modern-ancient road, also gives it an incongruous air. There are many places to stay in the old part of town, all of them good quality and reasonably priced, but I’d recommend Hotel Dei Cavallieri which is on the outskirts of town, but a lovely place of sanctuary in all respects, with delicious food to boot.

Barletta is also well connected by train to other attractive destinations, such as Trani, Bari and the Gargano region.

So, although it can’t compete with the likes of Italy’s grand cities, it certainly has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be dismissed if you’re travelling through Puglia. And, in addition to this the town is full of characters!

There are also a lot of good eateries there including one by the Duomo which is basically a cafe which does snacks. I have mentioned before about Saint Patrick Restaurant and Jazz Club which is a must.