After our morning exploring Monte Sant’Angelo and Gargano, we made our way back to coastal city of Barletta.
Barletta is located on the Adriatic with a very long, sandy coast stretching to both the east and the west. Along the coast, there are various attractive beaches with trees to the west. The main highlights of the city include the old town section, the beaches, the street art, the Castle, and the Colossus.
Our hotel, Nicohotel, was located directly across from the beach. From our window, you could see a sliver of the beach. One morning, we woke up early and watched the sunrise as we walked along the beach. It was beautiful!
The street art in Barletta was an art of its own. The wall art was formed as if it was made of tiles in a mosaic. The fence surround a park depicted a person riding a bike. This was only visible if you were looking at the fence from a certain angle. It was a genius use of an unique canvas.
Italy is a country of castles and churches. The Castle in Barletta was unique and this uniqueness made my heart smile.
I am mostly certain that the original intent of this Castle was to provide protection over the city and this part of the Adriatic coastline. To get to this imposing structure, you walk through a park situated outside of the structure.
The limestone walls of the Castle are fairly pristine. As you pass through the gate, you walk into this amazing courtyard that has ramps to the roof and doorways leading to hidden treasures.
From the roof, you can get a 360 degree view of the city. As you make your way through the courtyard, you see many university age students traipsing through a doorway. As you approach the doorway and go through, the most amazing site greets you: a reference desk in front and an Italian student using a card catalog to look up a book on a specific topic. I honestly think at this point that I heard angels’ singing. This castle is used as a library; how cool is that. I totally “geeked out” at this moment.
Once I calmed down, we continued exploring this wonderful hidden gem. We made our way up the winding staircase and through some other rooms by following a few of the staircases in the Castle. On one of the staircases, we ran into one of the Librarians. This Italian gentleman only spoke Italian, but he beckoned my friend and I to step into a reading room that was occupied by students. The room was circular. This was my second “geek out” moment.
This Castle was such an amazing experience to me.
The Colossus of Barletta
The Colossus of Barletta is a large bronze statue of an unidentified Roman Emperor. The statue reportedly washed up on a shore, after a Venetian ship sank returning from Constantinople in 1204. The statue depicts a bearded emperor posed in a commanding gesture that invokes the act of delivering a speech, with his right arm raised, holding a cross. Information about the statute dates from 1309, when parts of its legs and arms were used by local Dominicans to cast bells. The missing parts were remade in the 15th century.
The Colossus was under renovation while we were visiting Barletta. Even though this was the case, this was one of my favorite highlights of this trip. It was just so cool.