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Italy, Barletta
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"Barletta" is a city and "comune" in the north of Apulia in southern Italy with c. 93,000 inhabitants. Starting from June 2009 it has become the government seat of the new .

It is famous for the Colossus of Barletta, a bronze statue, probably representing Roman Emperor Theodosius II. In 1503 it was the location of the "disfida di Barletta "("challenge of Barletta"), a battle during which 13 Italians commanded by Ettore Fieramosca defeated the French. In the territory of Barletta is the archaeological site of Canne della Battaglia (in Latin Cannae), location of the famous battle between Romans and the Carthaginians led by Hannibal. The city has one gold medal for military valour and another one for the civil valour, for its resistance to the Nazi invasion during World War II.

Barletta is on the Adriatic coast, where the rocky shore is covered with sands from the Ofanto river. The river forms the boundary of the provinces of Bari and Foggia and has always influenced the agricultural activities of the area. The river also marks the passage from Murgia to the fertile plain of Tavoliere, which starts in Barletta.

Barletta is south-west of the Gulf of Manfredonia and in front of the promontory of Gargano. Its borders include: the Adriatic coast to the east; Trani 12 km to the south-east; Canosa 22 km to the south-west; the mouth of the Ofanto river 5 km to the north-west; and the town of Margherita di Savoia 13 km to the North. It is situated on a low plane that varies from ten to fifteen meters above sea level. The surface extends over an area of 14,471 hectares, and has a length (east to west) of about 6 km, a width (north to south) of about 2 km and a perimeter of about thirteen kilometers.

In its territory there is a notably stable climate, in large part due to the presence of the sea, which attenuates the atmospheric contrast. The winds are usually from the south. The rainfall is low; it gets 500 mm of rain annually, distributed over about seventy days, with most of the rain in autumn and winter and minimal rain between the second half of June and the first half of August.

The "comune" comprises two parts, Montaltino and Fiumara, a famous tourist village of North Bari. The communes next to Barletta are: Andria, Canosa di Puglia, Margherita di Savoia, San Ferdinando di Puglia, Trani, and Trinitapoli.

The city is endowed with a very long, sandy coast stretching to both the east and the west from the commercial port. Along the coast, there are various attractive beaches with trees to the west.

Barletta developed as a port of Canosa during the Roman era, known as Bardulos or Barulum, even though its true origin dates back another few hundred years, as demonstrated by the finding of an Apulian settlement (4th century BC).
Detail of the facade of the Cathedral of Barletta.
In the Middle Ages it was a stronghold of the Normans, becoming an important stage for the Crusaders. After immigration from the nearby Canne increased its population, Balretta lived its period of greatest splendour under the Angevines kings of Naples. At the beginning of the 16th century, during the war between the French and the Spanish, the city was the theater of a historical victory of Italian knights over the French challengers, in what became known as the challenge of Barletta (13 February 1503). Later it served as a fortress for the Spanish rulers of southern Italy. In 1528 it was sacked by French troops under Odet de Foix.

The city was the capital of its district and the seat of the lower prefecture for the 120 years between 1806 and 1927.

During and after the Unification, Barletta was as poor as was most of the Mezzogiorno. Consequently hygiene and health were particularly bad amongst the labourers. Various types of diseases plagued the population tuberculosis, diarrhea, pneumonia, small pox, malaria, etc. An estimated 15% of the population was affected by trachoma. The most dreaded of the diseases brought by poverty was cholera. Outbreaks of cholera took place in the city in 1836, 1854, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1886 and finally 1910 when the bacillus brought by Barletta fishermen killed tens of thousands in southern Italy.

During World War II, the city was the site of the first episode of Italian resistance against the Nazi troops, thereby earning the Gold Medal of Military Valour and of Civil Merit.

Main sights

The principle monuments of the city are:
* the Hohenstaufen Castle ("Castello Svevo"), home to the Civic Museum. It was erected in the 10th century by the Normans and, during the Crusades, it was a common recovery station for soldiers leaving for the Holy Land. Frederick II enlarged it substantially from 1225 to 1228, the year in which he launched his Sixth Crusade from here. The castle was later renewed under the House of Anjou; as Barletta had become one of the most important centres of Aragonese-Spanish control in the area, in 1527 Charles had the building strengthened and the four massive bastions added. In 1915 the castle, then used as barracks and military store, was bombed by the Austrian battleship "Helgoland". In September 1943 it was the seat of a strong defence by an Italian military unit against the German army.
* the Colossus of Barletta, a large bronze statue representing a late Western Roman Emperor.
* the nearby Basilica of "San Sepolcro" (built in the 12th century), a Romanesque church with particular Oriental influences from Jerusalem, since in the period of the crusades the pilgrims came from a church adjoining a hospital. The façade is in Baroque style.
* the Cathedral of "Santa Maria Maggiore", a good example of the fusion of Gothic and Roman styles. In its interior, at lower level, are "grotticella" tombs from the 3rd century BC, over which is the Palaeochristian basilica (6th century), which was in turn superseded by another basilica in the 9th century. In the 12th century a new building was erected in Romanesque style, being consecrated in 1267; this was renewed in Gothic style in the 14th century
* Church of "San Giacomo" (11th century), most likely erected over a Pagan worship site. It was restored an re-consecrated in 1751.
* the Cantina of the Challenge
* Palace of the Marra, a united example of Baroque style that is outside Salent and near the home of the pinacotec
* archeological site of the Canne della Battaglia, the location of the famous clash between the Roman troops and Hannibal in 216 BC.

View of the Castle with its gardens.
Barletta is purely a city of agriculture and industry, of which vineyards and olive groves are the most widespread crops. The industrial apparatus is well developed with the presence of a number of shoe-making and textile factories. In the end, this contributes an economic sector of modest proportions to the city.

The city is reachable by train from both the FS line (Trenitalia company), from the Ferrovie del NordBarese (between Bari-Barletta with two stations in the city), and from the Barletta-Spinazzola line. By car it is reachable from the A14 autostrada (exiting at Andria-Barletta or Canosa) or the SS16 superstrada or from the airport of Bari-Palese about 55 km from Barletta. Other than Barletta"s commercial port, there are no sea connections, though Bari and other cities have ferry services across the Adriatic.

Demographic evolution
The city"s population has generally experienced steady growth since unification in 1861. The only exception was a slight decrease in the early 1930s, when the world was reeling from the consequences of the Great Depression.

Notable people
* Alessandra Benucci, wife of Ludovico Ariosto
* Carlo Cafiero (1846 - 1892), anarchist and champion of Mikhail Bakunin
* Giuseppe Curci (1808 - 1877), musician and composer
* Gennaro Delvecchio (1978 - ), national footballer for Italy
* Giuseppe De Nittis (1846 - 1884), impressionist painter who is probably the best know person from the city
* Ettore Fieramosca (1476 - 1515), captain of the Italian cavalry during the challenge of Barletta
* Carlo Maria Giulini (1914 - 2005), orchestra director
* Pietro Mennea (1952 - ), for 17 years was the world-record holder in the 200m sprint and won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
* Mario Gallo (1878-1945) influential director in the Cinema of Argentina
* Giuseppe Lanzone (1919-1999), Physician


External links


Category:Cities and towns in Apulia
Category:Coastal towns in Apulia
Category:Port cities and towns of the Adriatic Sea

Dieser Artikel stammt aus der freien Enzyklopädie Wikipedia und kann dort bearbeitet werden. Der Text ist unter der Lizenz Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike verfügbar. Fassung vom 21.10.2019 12:55 von den Wikipedia-Autoren.


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