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Liceo Ginnasio Statale “Q. Orazio Flacco” BARI (Italy)

Comenius Meeting 17th-24th February 2013

Welcome in Bari COMENIUS PROJECT “A SHORT LATIN MOVIE” Dear Friends, we are glad to welcome you in Bari in the occasion of the Meeting for the Comenius project “A short Latin movie”. We hope you enjoy your stay in our town.

SUMMARY Bari: a bit of its history ............ 2 Bari: the districts …………………3 Bari: Castle and Cathedral …....4 Bari: St. Nicholas’ Church ……..5 Bari: Saint Nicholas ……………..5 Bari: theaters ……………………….6 Bari: Russian Church ……………6 Egnazia .................................... .7 Polignano …………………………...7 Ostuni ...................................... .7 Castellana’s caves ………………..8 Alberobello .............................. .8 Altamura .................................. .9 Bitonto ................................... .9 Matera ..................................... .9 Trani …………………………………10 Castel del Monte …………………10 Margherita di Savoia …………..10 Apulian folk traditions …………11

DISTRICT “LIBERTÀ” Origin, development, extension and population


Our school is located in the district Libertà. A podestà’s resolution, dated on 23rd January 1927, gave formal notice that since 1890 a new urban district was formally forming to the west of the district Murat and it was bounded by Via Manzoni, the city gates and the coast, on an area of 1,067,200 square meters and a perimeter of 4.160 km. It was also decided to divide the territory of Bari in neighborhoods and make a decentralization of municipal services, setting up in each district a separate registry office, In order to meet the needs of the resident population in that and other outlying areas of the city. The district Libertà, unnamed and only identified with the adjectives "urban western", was included with the Picone and the industrial area at the time (corresponding to today's San Cataldo), in the third quarter. It had the following boundaries: to the east, the district of Bari Vecchia and Murat, until Via Manzoni and Via Giuseppe Capruzzi; to the south, west and north, the limit was marked by the edge of the village and the sea coast. To be more precise, the portion constituting the district "urban western" was considered to be bounded on the north by the coast, on the east by the streets Brigata Bari and Brigata Regina, on the south by the railway line Bari-Bologna, on the west by siding Bari-station sea, with an area of 80 hectares. As for the name, a large district, formed by the above-mentioned three quarters, was related to the political regime of the time, the "Littorio", a “symbol to remind the Fascist revolution to the posterity”.

Bari, Liceo Ginnasio “Q. O.razio Flacco”


The formation of the urban city of Bari is rather uneven and largely dates back to ’900. The ancient boundaries of Bari were limited to today's old town, located on an extension of land jutting out into the sea and surrounded by its walls. Only in 1813, thanks to enlargement of the port, the city began to grow and Joachim Murat signed a decree to build the "new village" (or "Murat") in a flat area south of the old city center, while the walls, that encircled the old town in the inner part, were dismantled and replaced by the current course Vittorio Emanuele II. Even today, it is easy to notice the double aspect and style of the urban center, divided between the medieval old town, formed by narrow and intricate streets, converging to the two main churches (Saint Nicholas’ and the Cathedral) and the nineteenth-century Murat zone, characterized by an orthogonal grid.

wings, a form with an evident fascist reference. After World War II the districts of Picone, Carrassi and San Pasquale, separated from the center by the Adriatic railway and already quite urbanized, expanded. In the ’50s the urbanization of the areas Fesca and San Girolamo started. Located on the northern coast, between the districts Marconi and Palese, they were in that moment inhabited by fishermen. West of Bari, near Palese and Modugno, the industrial zone and the demotic district San Paolo began to rise. South of Santo Spirito the demotic neighborhoods of San Pio (ex Enziteto) and Catino were built. In the ’60s the construction of the actual very great Japigia neighborhood began south-east of Madonnella. Poggiofranco, the most modern and sophisticated district of the city, was built near Picone and Carrassi.

In the first third of the ’900 the districts Libertà and Marconi (north-west of the center) and Madonella (south-east) were built. Just with the construction of the district Madonnella and the monumental seafront (with impressive public buildings, rigid and authoritarian style) the fascist regime proposed to change the appearance of the capital city according to its dictates. Nowadays most of the sea promenade and

constitute a historical, concrete evidence of the fascist architecture and urbanism. the district Madonnella

In 1928 the Minister of Public Works Herald Crollalanza ordered by a decree the inclusion in Bari’s jurisdiction of municipalities and hamlets, with stories and traditions generally not related to the capital, located within a few kilometers from the center, in order to shape the “great Bari”. Therefore Carbonara, Ceglie del Campo and Loseto, cities south-east of Bari, became fractions. San Giorgio, Torre a Mare, Palese and Santo Spirito were taken off from the municipalities of Triggiano, Noicattaro, Modugno and Bitonto: the urban plan became an "eagle" with outstretched

Bari, Palazzo Ateneo

In the ’70s the connection of the city (and that with the contiguous municipalities) is considerably improved, thanks to the passage of the new Highway number 16, which serves as ring road in the territory of Bari. Meanwhile, as a result of economic development, once that the downtown area has become saturated, the building continues in remote areas. On the 26th January 1970, with Resolution 489/70, the City Council of Bari abolishes all the administrative villages that become neighborhoods of the city. The reason of this provision is the strong expansion of the suburban area of Bari.

THE FUTURE METROPOLITAN CITY AND THE REFERENDUM FOR THE SEPARATION The reorganization of the City in municipalities is being studied, in order to encourage the administrative devolution and give life to the metropolitan city.

Bari: Corso Vittorio Emanuele

BARI: THE DISTRICTS Since 1979 Bari is divided into nine local districts with a council (with a number of representatives between 14 and 18) and a democratically elected president.

On 19th April 2009, the citizens of Districts I and IV voted in a referendum the shift of the respective territories from districts in autonomous municipalities. The voting took place under decree of the President of the Regional Council (issued on 21/11/2008), after years of requests for autonomy of the committees (who argue that the management of the capital doesn’t enough remunerate areas with historical-cultural and social well-defined realities). Although the vote was positive, there wasn’t a very strong turnout and the Regional Council voted against the authorization to proceed. However, the committees continue the political struggle for the recognition of the referendum, so the issue is still debated by the various regional institutions.



BARI THE SWABIAN CASTLE The Norman Swabian Castle, now the symbol of the city of Bari, is an imposing fortress that stands in the old town. The elements dating back to the Roman-Greek age led experts to associate its existence already in ancient times. Probably, this medieval fortress dates back to 1132. The building was built by the Norman King Roger II in 1156 and was destroyed and rebuilt in 1233, on behalf of Frederick II. After Angevin rule it became property of Ferdinand of Aragon and later of the Sforza. After the death of Bona Sforza, the castle was entrusted to the King of Naples and was used as a prison. Today, however, it looks like a castle surrounded by the ancient moat and a fortress. The access is in the south, through a courtyard.

Isabel arrived in Bari in September 1501, with her daughter Bona, and settled in Norman-Swabian castle of Bari. She inherited the Duchy of Bari from the king of Naples Federico and drove it with care and intelligence. In the administration of her Duchy Isabel of Aragon acted many renovations and invested in public works like the rebuilding of the pier, the restructuring of the castle and the project to surround the city with a channel for the defense. In support of her people she introduced a number of initiatives: - she surveyed public officials so they could not commit abuse on the people; - she exempted farmers from payment of duties on agriculture; - she favored public education; - she let prosper businesses, industries and arts (she loved being surrounded by artists and writers). When she died in 1524, the Duchy of Bari passed to her daughter Bona, buried in the Basilica of Saint Nicholas.


THE CATHEDRAL The Cathedral of Bari (in italian Cattedrale di Bari or di San Sabino) is the seat of the Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto. It is located in the centre of the old city (also called “Bari Vecchia”). It is dedicated to Saint Sabinus, a bishop of Canosa whose relics were brought here in the 9th century. The Cathedral dates back to the XI century and was rebuilt in the XII century after the destruction by the Norman William I “The Bad”; it is a great example of the Apulian Romanesque, though it was modified during the 17th century from a Baroque point of view. The simple façade has three portals of the 11th century below a rose window, over which a lintel with monsters and fantastic beasts is carved. The belfry is new, rebuilt from a stone similar to the original one, with an elaborate lantern-tower. The dome shows a lot of clear Moorish motifs. Internally the cathedral is divided into three aisles of sixteen columns with arcades. The church, which had been overwhelmed by Baroque additions, has now been restored to the uncluttered beauty of the original Apulian Romanesque, that can be admired in the transept, in the false matroneum, and in the magnificent pulpit, recently rebuilt in the same material as before. In the crypt the relics of Saint Sabinus are preserved in the major altar. These were brought to Bari in 844 by Saint Angelarius, bishop of Canosa, that rescued them from the ruins after the destruction of the city by the Saracens. The silver bust of Saint Sabinus was transferred to the capitular archive,


therefore here the icon of the bishop is now venerated: according to tradition this was brought from the Orient in the 8th century, but it is later, although nevertheless it represents a cult object of great antiquity. Restoration works brought to the light the remains of a large brick building under the Cathedral. Here visitors can admire a portion of a beautiful mosaic dating back to the I century A. D. and an inscription dedicated to a certain Aulus Gellius Augustalis. The Cathedral is one of the most important touristic places in the city and every year a lot of visitors visit it. In the palace of the Curia, adjacent to the cathedral, is located the Diocesan Museum, another important touristic place, where the Exultet is displayed. This is a precious manuscript of Byzantine origin.

BARI THE BASILICA OF SAINT NICHOLAS The basilica of Saint Nicholas, in the heart of the old town of Bari, is one of the shining examples of Apulian architecture. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra and died there in 343. Most of the relics of the saint are preserved in Bari in the basilica dedicated to him. Saint Nicholas’ church was built between 1087 and 1197, only after the arrive of the relics in Bari. They were brought in Bari by sixty-two sailors, on 9th May 1087. When the relics arrived in Bari, they were stored in the monastery of Saint Benedict, which was at the time directed by the abbot Elijah, who immediately began to build a new church to preserve the bones. He chose for it the area, where the palace of the Byzantine Catapan was, before to be destroyed in a riot. Construction works started in July of the same year. On 1 st October 1089 the relics were placed in the crypt by the Pope Urban II. The basilica stands alone at a short distance from the sea. The interior has a Latin cross floor plan development. The body is divided into three aisles by 12 columns. The altar is surmounted by a 12th century ciborium. There is a bishop's throne, masterpiece of Romanesque sculpture. Two staircases at the end of the aisles lead into the crypt. Under the central altar of the crypt lies the body of Saint Nicholas, protector of Bari. He is one of the most venerated saints all over the world. He is worshipped in ideal union by both the catholic and the orthodox believers.

"In May a lot of pilgrims come to Bari to celebrate St. Nicholas." SAINT NICHOLAS (Patara ,270 AD - Myra, 343 AD)

come back to life.

Saint Nicholas was from a rich and Christian family: his parents, Epiphanius and Joanne helped poor and the sick people with their wealth. For this reason, despite Joanne was barren, the two had Nicholas from God. Since the beginning, Nicholas revealed to be a great servant of God: he didn’t suck milk every day to let it for other malnourished children. Unfortunately, he lost his parents when the plague broke out.

There is another famous miracle made by Nicholas. While two young men were resting in a tavern with a load of jewels, they were killed by the innkeeper, because he wanted to seize the wealth. To hide the crime, he cut off the bodies of the poor boys and tried to pass them off as pork, but Nicholas discovered everything and revived the two boys, after to have redeemed the innkeeper.

He helped who needed, as in the famous case of the three virgins, it is said that a fallen man wanted to start his daughters into prostitution and Nicholas threw the money into his house, during three consecutive nights, to give to all three daughters a dowry.

Nicholas was imprisoned and exiled in 305, during the persecution issued by Diocletian, he was later released by Constantine in 313 and continued his apostolic activity. He died in Myra on 6th December, presumably the year 343, probably in the monastery of Sion.

He then left his hometown and moved to Myra where he was ordained priest. When the metropolitan bishop of Myra died, people acclaimed him as the new bishop. It is said that during the party for the election of the new bishop, a young woman had moved away from her home, where her only son slept. While playing, the little lost his balance and fell into the fire, and when the mother returned home, he was dead. So she brought the ashes of the baby to Nicholas, who blessed him and let him

The remains were preserved in the cathedral of Myra, but sixty-two sailors from Bari arrived in the city on 8th May 1087. When he was alive, during a stop in Bari in a journey to Rome, the saint predicted: "There my bones will rest." From 7th to 9th May, the patron saint is celebrated in Bari. His statue is brought in a procession by a caravel along the seafront and then you can see beautiful fireworks.


RUSSIAN CHURCH For centuries the Orthodox pilgrims have visited Bari to venerate St. Nicholas. A lot of famous and ordinary people came to Bari from the Russian empire. The real pilgrimage developed only in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The influx of Orthodox pilgrims became bigger and bigger. Upon their arrival in Bari, they remained disappointed by the total lack of accommodation for them. Twice a year, during the festivities for St. Nicholas, the Russian empire gathered tenders to build a Russian Church in Bari, and in 1913 the first stone was laid. The design of the church was assigned to the famous Russian architect Sciusev. During the First World War the construction works were not suspended and, before the Russian Revolution, the church received more than 200 pilgrims. Construction was completed in the 20s of the twentieth century. During the revolution of 1917, also the Russian Church in Bari experienced difficult times. The pilgrimage was discontinued, and in 1937 the Prince N. Zhevahov sold the architectural complex to the local authority. So the Russian church ceased to be owned by Russia. Only in 1998 it was possible to open the church to a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate. This episode marked the first step towards the resumption of religious and cultural links with the city and finally the celebration of Orthodox masses began. In 2007, Bari began negotiations for the return of the architectural complex to Russia. On 1st March 2009, Bari gave back the Russian Church and the President of the Italian Republic gave the key of the church to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Bari: Russian Church


PETRUZZELLI THEATER The Petruzzelli theater was designed by the brothers Antonio and Onofrio Petruzzelli in 1896 on commission of their brother in law Angelo Ciccomessere. It was one of the most important structures of Italy and hosted the most prestigious companies. In the night between the 26th and 27th October 1991 it was completely destroyed by a fire. So it remained unused for 19 years and with the help of the town it was finally rebuilt in 2009. The most famous and prestigious artists here perform in plays, operas and ballets.

MARGHERITA THEATER the cooperation of Luigi Santarella, who favored the use of renforced concrete. Being entirely surrounded by the sea, the theater was connected to the mainland by a pier. The inauguration of the theater took place on 22nd August 1914, with a variety program. In the second half of the twenties with the coverage of the waterfront, the Margherita abandoned the aspect of a building suspended over the water.

The Margherita Theater was built between 1912 and 1914, in the bend of the old port, on pillars in the sea to escape the pact signed between the Municipality of Bari and the family Petruzzelli according to which the government could build other theaters only on the sea. It was built to substitute the wooden Margherita theater, opened in 1910 and destroyed by a fire in 1911. The structure of the Theater was designed in Art Nouveau by Francesco De Giglio with

PICCINNI THEATER The Niccolò Piccinni theater is the oldest one in the city of Bari. It was completed in 1854 and inaugurated on 30th May of the same year with the Poliuto of Donizetti. In 1855 the theater was named Niccolò Piccinni taking its name from the homonym Barian composer. Because of the fire that destroyed the Petruzzelli theater in 1991, it was for nearly twenty years the most important in Bari for both capacity and tradition.

It was used for the Historical Museum, then for exhibitions, for variety shows and films. In 1943 the Teatro Margherita was occupied by the Anglo-American troops. It was damaged by the bombing of 1943 and by the explosion of the ship Henderson in 1945. From 1946 to 1979 it was used exclusively as a cinema until it was returned to the State. The theater was reopened in 2009 after a long restoration. The building is now used as a temporary exhibition hall for contemporary art.

OSTUNI Ostuni is situated on three hills at a height of 218 meters above the sea level. It is located 8 km from the Adriatic coast. The most important economic activities are tourism and agriculture (especially olive trees and vines). There are many important structures called "masserie", ancient fortified farms, where landowners in the past practiced the agricultural activity.

Egnazia: Temple of the Eastern Deities

EGNAZIA Egnazia, also called Gnazia or Gnathía, was an ancient town founded during the Bronze Age and conquered by the Greeks and later by the Romans. The town ruins are in Southern Eastern Apulia, on the Low Adriatic Coast, and they can be visited by tourists. The ancient Gnathia had got some interesting monuments we can visit nowadays. On the Acropolis there are a Venus’ temple, built by the Greeks and enlarged

Today, in addition to the development of agriculture and processing industry of agricultural products (oil, almonds, wine), the town has become a popular touristic destination, able to enhance its cultural, historical and architectural landmarks. Numerous tourist villages, such as Rosa Marina, arose on the coast, one of the cleanest in Apulia. The most distinctive feature of the old town, which so fascinates the tourists, is the lime painting of the houses. The use, attested since the Middle Age, ensures greater brightness to the narrow streets a n d t h e s p a c e s . Because of this practice, now in decline, Ostuni is called the White Town and that’s why it is recognizable and memorable to visitors.

during the Roman Empire, and the “castrum” built during the Middle Age. In the low Egnatia there are two main squares: a pillared one, the forum, and a round square called “amphitheater” but we know it wasn’t a theatre but probably a market or a grazing land. Nearby we can find the small Eastern Gods’ Temple. There are three ancient basilicas, thermal baths and a productive zone.

POLIGNANO A MARE The oldest part of the town stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Adriatic Sea at 33 kilometers south of Bari. Its economy is mainly based on tourism, agriculture and fishing. Its sea caves are of great natural interest. The historical center and the remains of Roman domination are historically important. Among the latter ones, we have to remember the bridge of the Via Traiana, s t i l l v i a b l e , t h r o u g h L a m a M o n a c h i l e . Since 2008, Polignano a Mare has always received the Blue Flag, reaching European quality parameters.


ALBEROBELLO In 1996 Alberobello has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, for the beauty of its “trulli”. Alberobello, with its, is one of the most picuresque towns in Apulia thanks to the characteristic form of its trulli. Alberobello has a Mother Church flanked by two towers and counts a thousand trulli swarming up the hill together in groups or aligned along steep streets. The neighborhoods Monti and Aia Piccola are entirely composed by trulli. Its architecture revolves around the junction of a conical shape on an underlying cubic structure, which proposes the unique geometry of the so-called "false dome", obtained by overlapping rows of concentric “chiancarelle”, that are gradually approaching the center of the keystone, marked by the presence of a typical cusped element that ends at the top with a sphere or a pinnacle of various forms. The trulli testify by their presence a story fascinating and mysterious, halfway between history and legend.

CASTELLANA’S CAVES For million and million years colonies of little organisms (marine molluscs and vegetables) succeede d ones to the others and when they died, t h e i r e m p t i e d s h e l l s and their carcasses accumulated on the bot tom of the sea, forming a gigantic deposit of mud and sand, then they comp r e s s e d , u n t i l t o form limestone layers for a total thickness of various kilometres.

Beginning from sixtyfive million years ago, the progressive increase of lands carried the region to its current aspect and in the emerged limes tone mass Castellana’s caves were formed, as a result of tectonic solicitations, which extended fractures in which the rainwater, infiltrated in the basement, created a real underground water course.

A story, moreover, common to the whole Mediterranean, if you consider the similarities and influences that bind the trulli to the Sardinian nuraghi, the bories and similar buildings, that exist in Turkey, Spain and Africa. Here the life, that takes place inside and outside the home, is simple and patriarchal.

The cavities, abandoned from the waters, became fossils. Afterwards extended col-


Alberobello, town of the trulli


The wonderful White Cave, note for the can dor of its concretions, is the more shining o f t h e w o r l d . T h o u s a n d s of concretions of various form and measure, of the purest white color, produce a b l i n d ing flare and induce to a respectful hush in this magical place. The color of the concr e t i o n s d e p e n d s on the purity of the melted cliff and in the “White Cave” the perfection is insured.

l a p s e s h a p p e n e d and wide skylights illuminated the dark. this is the case of the Grave 1 of the Caves, overed-measure natural pantheon, supported from a pillar. The caves represent a huge show, always various according to the period of the year and the hour of the day. When this destructive phase finished, t h e c a v i t i e s passed to a constructive phase. The caves b egan to dress themselves of calcite concretions and stalactites were formed, hanging from the ceiling, while stalagmites were formed on the ground, similar to columns, curtains, drapes, outlandish corncobs and vari o u s o t h e r forms. The formation of the concretions is a long and delicate process, whose increase varies increase from ten millimeters to a pair of centimeters per y e a r , a c c o r d i n g to the physical conditions of the atmosphere.

The peasants believed that graves were the mouth of the hell and they used some of them in order to deposit their job tools. The animals that fell died c a u s ing the spillage of bad odors and of gas, an d the peasants had fear it was a matter of the spirits of the damned ones that tried to go out from the hell fighting against dark forces.


Castel del Monte

CASTEL DEL MONTE Castel del Monte is a 13th century castle situated in Apulia region near Bari. It was built during 1240s by the Emperor Frederick II. It has been included in the list of Italian national monuments since 1936 and in the UNESCO’s since 1996. The castle was built on January 1240 and it was a defensive one. It was rarely used, sometimes for celebrations. the emperor Frederick didn’t live there. So the castle during centuries felt in degradation and ruin, in fact it was naked from marbles, decorations and all the furniture. It was used like refuge for prisoners and pastors. In 1876 Italian state bought this castle for 25.000 Italian liras and it started works for repair. The castle has got an octagonal plant and in each edge there is a little octagonal tower. Inside the castle there are a lot of half-empty rooms in which there are seldom columns and windows, usually very tight called slits. There are also lots of slots for rainwater harvesting. A spiral staircase leads to the upper floors. Decorations, completely disappeared, were composted by keystones with mythological or vegetable pictures and rich porphyry frames. There are materials such as limestone (typical of the area), white or with veins of marble (now very rare in the decorations of the rooms) and coral breaches. Outside you can appreciate the portal of the main entrance and a mullioned window. The octagonal form of the Castle has got a symbolic meaning: the square represents the earth, the circle represents the sky. The octagon is an intermediate picture, that means the passage from earth to sky.

MARGHERITA DI SAVOIA The nature reserve of the salt marshes of Margherita di Savoia is a protected natural area of Apulia since 1977. It occupies an area of 3,871 km2 in the Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani. Its salt marshes on the Adriatic are the largest in Europe and second ones in the world and they are recognized as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. There is the Historical Museum of Saline, located in an old salt warehouse near the sixteenth-century Marshes Tower.

Trani, according to mythology, was founded by Tyrrenus and later rebuilt by Traiano. Its name maybe derives from Tyrrenus. The port has been very important for Trani's history, in fact the nice climate was a good reason to live there, beside to the possibility of fishing and for the plenty of tuff, a good building material. Trani was governed by Rome until the end of the Occidental Roman empire. In IX century the episcopal Cathedral was also built. Trani had a period under the control of Greeks and Normans during which the city had a prosperous economic situation so that it became an important place for the commerce between the Middle East and the other states of Italy. Also a jewish colony from the Judea was very important. Trani finally passed under the control of Spain, that gave it a great importance as a political, judicial and administrative center. Trani had a negative period because of the French revolution that brought confusion in all Europe, so Bari became the most important city of the zone. However Trani regained its importance being chosen as the residence of the court of appeal of Apulia. Trani is known for its beautiful cathedral in a very particular Romanesque style. It's also really fascinating because of the amazing landscape around it. The Cathedral's construction began in XI century, but ended almost a hundred years later. A very tall bell tower was added. The church is all built in beautiful white stone, and inside it's also very fascinating because of its particular history: it was in fact built on a pre-esistent church dedicated to the holy Mary, to who is still dedicated the underground of the Cathedral. Next to the Cathedral there's the Diocesan Museum, important for all the findings coming from all the other churches of Trani. The most important things are the ivory altar and the famous golden cross. The Swabian Castle is also very famous. It was probably built during the '200 years. It is an impressive building with big towers around it. It was used by the Aragonese and the Venetians for military functions in the '400. Later it became a prison at high level of security.


MATERA The Sassi (it means "stones") are the oldest part of the city of Matera, in Basilicata. Grown around the Civita, the site constitutes an entire city carved into the calcarenitic rock, locally called "tuff", an articulated housing system, perched on the slopes of a deep valley with unique and surprising natural characteristics. Elegant and articulate structures alternate with underground labyrinths and with the cavernous depths, creating a unique landscape of great effect. The overlapping of different phases of urban transformations on the Murgia's morphology creates a scenery of incomparable beauty. Once the heart of civilization, now restored, the Sassi of

ALTAMURA Altamura is known in Italy and abroad for the production of a typical bread, for its relevant paleontological discoveries, such as the Man of Altamura and the dinosaurs’ quarry, and for its Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in 1232 by Frederick II, who ordered the construction of the church and dedicated it to the Assumption. The original model is an example of the Apulian Romanesque style and reminds that of Saint Nicholas’ church in Bari, but with the clear influence of Gothic language, which provides crystalline forms and tasteful décor of Oriental origin such as those that characterize the mullioned window in the facade. The actual orientation of the cathedral is the reverse of the original, but we cannot say if this drastic change was made at the time of Robert of Anjou (first half of XIV) or during the extension works between 1521 and 1547. At the time of the Angevin domination the north door was opened, while the construction of a second bell tower, the area of the altar and sacristy were added in the first half of the sixteenth century. Eighteenth-century works are the loggia between the two towers, the end of the bell towers and the inner lining of marble.


Matera come to life especially at night when the little lights of houses, craft shops and restaurants make them as a manger of paper mache. They are made up of two large districts: Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, divided by the central hill of Civita, the oldest settlement of the town of Matera, the heart of the medieval urbanization. The Sasso Caveoso consists mainly of

houses carved into the rock and mostly intact. In the great square, with the church of San Pietro Caveoso, recently restored, you can admire the panorama of the Gravina and the row of houses and caves, across the main road. The square comes to life especially in the summer season, animated by tourists and musical groups and bar with outdoor seating. Along the Gravina of Matera you reach the Sasso Barisano, where numerous restaurants and hotels are as well as several tourist attractions such as the reconstruction of the Sassi in miniature and the Museum of civilization. The Sassi of Matera were declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

BITONTO The name Botuntum probably derives from "bonum totum", it perhaps alludes to the prosperity in the agricultural sector. Other studies suggest that the meaning of Butuntum or Botuntum would mean city under water which flows (from the Greek "Bot" or "But"). According to another tradition the name could also derive from Botone, the Illyrian king, who founded the town. Bitonto was an important Peucetian village, since the sixth century it came under the influence of the cities of Magna Graecia and in Roman times it was a municipium, maintaining the cult of Minerva, who gave to the city the gift of the olive. The town was crossed by the Via Traiana. Bitonto was under the Byzantine domination and then it was conquered by the Normans, who enabled a renaissance in terms of civilization and culture. Thanks to the Benedictines the construction of the new Cathedral began. It was built between the XI and XII century in Romanesque style. The façade has three portals. The rich sculptural decoration of the central portal resumes scenes from the New Testament and animal motifs. Along the right side, characterized by deep arches, there is the Door of Excommunication, so called because there in 1227 Pope Gregory IX excommunicated Frederick I. The interior, with a Latin cross plan, is divided into three naves with apses. The wooden ceiling presents a polychrome decoration and the Frederician ambo is decorated with glass pastes according to Islamic models and introducing bas-reliefs of the Swabian emperors. The crypt preserves the remains of an earlier church dating back to the fifth century.

APULIAN FOLK TRADITIONS THE “PIZZICA” The “pizzica”, said Pizzica Pizzica, is a popular dance which is particularly attributed to Salento. It is part of the great family of the “tarantella”, a kind of dance diffused in southern Italy. The first known written source dates back to 1797 and refers to the dance the nobility of Tarentum offered to King Ferdinand IV during his diplomatic visit in the city. The pizzica pizzica was essentially a dance for the moments of celebration and social conviviality, but it was also practiced during the therapeutic rituals for people bitten by the tarantula. The pizzica has been performed by many musical instruments: bagpipes, violin, mandolin, tambourine, triangle, damselfish.

The Pizzica Pizzica is danced in couples, not necessarily made up of individuals of the same sex. The pizzica pizzica between men and women was not necessarily a courtship dance. In fact, it was danced mainly in private and family occasions, and on such occasions it was very likely that they were dancing very close relatives, or individuals with a big age difference. The "handkerchief" is characteristic of the Pizzica Pizzica. It was used at the time of the dance to invite the chosen partner. Today it is much abused the belief that a handkerchief is used as a "symbol of love". Although we cannot deny in toto that this simple accessory sometimes could become a real symbol or token of love, it is more likely that it was used to animate the dance.

THE CARNIVAL OF PUTIGNANO The carnival of Putignano is one of the most popular in Apulia and one of the oldest in Italy. The characteristic mask of this event is Farinella, that takes his name from a particular dish of Putigano. The Carnival was born in 1394, when the relics of the martyr Saint Steven arrived. In occasion of this important event, the peasantry started to celebrate it in a lot of ways, such as drinking, dancing, singing and telling stories. According to the historians this first celebrations were called “propaggini”. Carnival is celebrated even today, but just during the fascist period it became a very popular and refined event, thanks to the use of beautiful allegorical floats. They are built thanks to the very hard work of the cardboard masters and carpenters. Certainly the Carnival of Putignano is one of the longest in Italy: it starts on 26th December with the “propaggini” in which people tell stories and make jokes or satirize politicians lots of actual facts. During the Carnival’s period, there are beautiful parades of allegorical floats. At the end the most beautiful float is awarded and the festival finishes during “Fat Tuesday”, in which the “dead of Carnival” happens.



LICEO GINNASIO STATALE “Q. ORAZIO FLACCO” BARI This work was possible thanks to the cooperation of pupils of the classes V A and V C of our Liceo. It is dedicated to the fellows from the participating schools to the Comenius Project “A short Latin movie”

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