Andria is located in one of the most fascinating points of Apulia; in the shade of Castel del Monte, surrounded by extensive olive groves and vineyards typical of the rural landscape of the Alta Murgia National Park but only a short distance from the Adriatic coast, caressed by mountain and sea breezes, it enjoys an enviable climate.
The ancient hamlet, well preserved, is a dense maze of streets, alleys and lanes that offer generously to the most curious visitor and there are many testimonies of a past rich with history that forged the small town center.
In 1064, Andria was elevated to the role of Civitas and subsequently became the most beloved residence of Frederick II, who praised it publicly, for the loyalty shown to him, as one can see in an epigraph on the Sant’Andrea gateway in the neighborhood old Andria.
The Porta di Sant’Andrea or Saint Andrew gateway, today, is the only one of the four gates of the city left standing.
The monumental city center stands on an ancient Norman fortress and culminates in the stupendous Cathedral of St. Richard and St. Mary, a place that holds the tombs of the two wives of Frederick II, Yolande of Brienne and Isabella of England.
The Church, remodeled again and again over time, retains a fine Romanesque rose window, the Gothic interior seems to have been a place of prayer for the thirteen Italian knights before the famous “Disfida di Barletta” (Challenge of Barletta).
The narrow streets and alleys of the old town center are embellished by the beauty of churches and palaces and among them we find the Palazzo Ducale in late Renaissance style, the Church of Saint Augustine with its superb Gothic portal, the Church of Saint Francis with the main altar and the choir in pure gold.
There is no lack of opportunities for gourmet breaks. Numerous are the restaurants and trattorias where one can taste fresh pasta such as the orecchiette, the strascinate, the cavatelli seasoned with meat-based sauces and local cheeses flavored with the excellent DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, literally “Protected Designation of Origin”) oil and accompanied by DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata, literally “Controlled Designation of Origin”) red wines of the territory.
Take a brief stop at one of the many pastry shops in Andria, to taste the almond cookies and pastries, and fill yourself with the sweetness and energy that enable you to continue touring the city, visiting the Shrine of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and the Church of Santa Maria di Porta Santa.
The surrounding area presents a vast expanse of olive groves and vineyards reachable through the ancient streets and upon entering the countryside you discover the agricultural landscape that characterizes the lands of Frederick II, the emperor’s hunting ground: tracks, jazzi (the jazzo is a special enclosure for common sheep), oil mills, wineries and farms where one can enjoy the scents and flavors of the region as well as the inevitable view of Castel del Monte.
Wineries to visit
- Tenuta Cocevola
distance 2,6 Km, about 10 minutes by car
- Spagnoletti Zeuli
distance 15,5 Km, about 21 minutes by car
distance 19,1 Km, about 27 minutes by car
- Azienda Rivera
distance 19,7 Km, about 26 minutes by car
- Cantine Carpentiere
distance 21,4 Km, about 29 minutes by car
- Cantina Grifo
distance 23,2 Km, about 23 minutes by car
distance 27,9 Km, about 36 minutes by car
Where to eat
- Terre di Traiano
distance 15,4 Km, about 21 minutes by car
distance 23,3 Km, about 24 minutes by car
- Tenuta Pedale
distance 25,7 Km, about 30 minutes by car