Apulia, or Puglia, is situated in Southern Italy. If you remember your geography lessons, it may resonate as the little heel of the “boot” of Italy. Tourists flock to this gorgeous place for the history and culture, and the many wonderful hotels in Puglia are known for affordable rates, comfortable rooms and excellent locations. There are so many places to explore while in the region – here are some of them.
The Basilica di San Nicola (Saint Nicholas)
The Basilica di San Nicola was founded in 1087 when it received the relics of this saint. They were brought from Myra in Lycia and they lie beneath the altar in the crypt, along with the remains of the Topins, a legacy of old thieves converted to good faith. This church is one of the four Palatine churches of the region.
If you’re staying in one of the nearby hotels in Puglia, head over to the Bari Cathedral, which is dedicated to Saint Sabinus of Canosa. This cathedral was started in the Byzantine style in 1034, but was destroyed in 1156. After that, a new building was created between 1170 and 1178, inspired by the aforementioned San Nicola. Today, you can only see the traces of the pavement from the original edifice.
The church has a simple Romanesque façade with three portals. The upper part is made up of a rose window decorated with fantasy figures, and the interior has two aisles and a nave, divided by 16 columns. The relics of Saint Sabinus and the icon of the Madonna Odigitria are housed here.
After La Scala in Milan and the San Carlo Theatre in Naples, the Petruzzelli Theatre is the grandest opera house in Italy. It hosted many famous opera and ballet shows in the 20th century before an arson attack in 1991 almost destroyed it. After 18 years, the theatre was finally reopened in 2009.
This castle, also known as the Norman-Hohenstaufen Castle, was built around 1131, and then destroyed in 1156. It was rebuilt and today, it serves as a gallery for art exhibitions in the city.
Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari
Another must-see place if you’re staying in one of the hotels in Puglia nearby is The Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari (Provincial Pinacotheca in Bari). This is the home of some of the most important paintings in the region. The museum was established in 1928 and you’ll be awed paintings from the 15th century to contemporary art.
The Russian Church
In the Carrassi district of Bari you will find the Russian Church that was built in the early 20th century to welcome Russian pilgrims. They originally came to the city to visit the church of Saint Nicholas and pay homage to the relics of the saint.