Trani, with Andria and Barletta, is the capital of the Province Barletta-Andria-Trani (BAT). The city is an historic fishing port on the Adriatic coast and is located in a small natural bay. It is an ideal destination for a daily trip as it is easily reachable and is a lovely place to explore, wander and relax.
It is known for its beautiful historic center, which features a stunning cathedral and a picturesque harbor. Train’s cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino, was built in the 12th century and is considered one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Apulia.
The harbor of Trani is also a popular attraction, with its colorful boats and stunning views of the sea. Trani is also known for its excellent seafood cuisine, featuring fresh fish and other local specialties.
Its name comes from Tirenum as according to legend it was founded by Tirreno, son of Diomedes.
The city is well known for the beauty of its port and an immense historical architectonic patrimony, reminiscent of a glorious past. The origin of the city dates back the prehistoric age but the first historical artifacts that have been found date back the period of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Empire the city was conquered by the Byzantine Empire and later on in medieval times it had an important economic and cultural development, thanks to its port the city was in fact a crossroads between East and West.
Things to see in Trani
The Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino is the most important building in town and is the most famous example of Romanesque style in Puglia. The magnificent church was founded in 1097 (on the ruins of the church dedicated to Santa Maria della Scala) but was only completed in 1197 ; it is built on the water’s edge and it overlooks the sea from its spectacular position. The big facade has a rose window and beside the the church is the bell tower. The original bronze door has been removed and is displayed inside.
The cathedral’s exterior features a striking rose window and an intricately decorated portal. Inside, visitors can admire the cathedral’s impressive nave, which is lined with columns and features a stunning wooden ceiling. The cathedral also has several side chapels, including the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament and the Chapel of the Madonna della Scala.
One of the most notable features of the cathedral is its crypt, which is located beneath the altar. The crypt contains the remains of Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim, a 13th-century hermit who was known for his piety and devotion to helping those in need. The crypt also features impressive frescoes that date back to the 12th century.
Trani’s Castello Svevo, or Swabian Castle, is a medieval fortress that was built in the 13th century by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. It is located on the waterfront and was originally designed to protect the city from attack.
The castle has a rectangular shape with four towers at each corner and a large central courtyard. It was built with a combination of stone and brick, and its thick walls and high towers were designed to withstand attacks from the sea. Over the centuries, the castle has served a variety of functions, including a prison, a military barracks, and a royal residence. Today, it is open to the public and houses a museum dedicated to the history of Trani and the castle itself.
Visitors can explore the castle’s various rooms, including the grand hall, the armory, and the former prison cells. There is also a small chapel on the premises that features stunning frescoes and other artwork.
In addition to its historical and cultural significance, the Castello Svevo also offers breathtaking views of the sea and the city of Trani. It is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and is an important landmark in the city’s rich history.
The Church of Ognissanti, built by the Knights Templar, it was used as shelter and hospital by pilgrims and crusaders on their route to the Holy Land.
The traveler will also enjoy a walk around the harbor with a great view of the Cathedral. Also not be missed is the Villa Comunale, a charming garden by the sea, definitely one of the best spots in the city.
Things to see in surroundings
There are several attractions and destinations worth visiting near Trani, including:
Alberobello: This picturesque town is known for its unique trulli houses, which are traditional Apulian dwellings made from limestone. The town’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-visit for anyone interested in traditional architecture.
Castel del Monte: This stunning medieval castle is located about 30 km from Trani and is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 13th century by Frederick II, the castle is known for its octagonal shape and its strategic location atop a hill.
Bari: This bustling port city is located about 40 km from Trani and is the capital of Apulia. It features a beautiful historic center with a stunning cathedral, a castle, and several museums.
Polignano a Mare: This charming coastal town is known for its picturesque old town, which is perched on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea. It also has several beautiful beaches and coves.
Matera: This ancient city is located about 100 km from Trani and is known for its famous Sassi di Matera, a complex of cave dwellings that were inhabited by humans for thousands of years. The city’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a fascinating place to explore.
Which tours and activities can I take in Trani?
Here are just a few examples of the many activities and tours available in Trani and its surrounding region. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Walking tour of Trani: Join a guided walking tour of Trani’s historic center to explore the city’s stunning cathedral, picturesque harbor, and charming streets. Learn about the city’s rich history and culture while taking in its beautiful sights and sounds.
Cooking class: Learn how to prepare traditional Apulian cuisine with a cooking class. Visit a local market to shop for fresh ingredients and then head to a kitchen to cook up delicious dishes like orecchiette pasta with tomato sauce and burrata cheese.
Wine tasting: Visit a local winery to sample some of the region’s best wines. Learn about the winemaking process and the different grape varieties that grow in the area.
Bike tour: Explore the countryside around Trani on a bike tour. Ride through olive groves and vineyards while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Visit to Castel del Monte: Take a guided tour of the iconic Castel del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 30 km from Trani. Learn about the castle’s fascinating history and architectural features.