Corato, Ruvo and Terlizzi
The territory embraced by the Castel del Monte Wine Road is a treasure chest of important historical and artistic records of unforgettable flavors and enchanting scenery … and fantastic spells, for example, in the city of Terlizzi,it is always spring!
Terlizzi is the kingdom of flowers; flowers of all kinds color and perfume the small town all year round: the great production of carnations, roses, gorse, mimosa, make this town one of the most important garden centers in Italy.
To appreciate the ancient village, just lose yourself in the maze of alleyways between white houses, flowered balconies, stone arches and coats of arms on the white walls of the buildings. Enjoying this small urban landscape, sooner or later, will lead you to the front of one of the many churches in the city.
The Cathedral is a gorgeous architecture on the foundations of an old Romanesque dome but develops following the neoclassical tradition, inside is embellished with numerous valuable paintings.
Even the Santa Maria La Nova is definitely worth a visit, to enjoy the many works of art preserved there. Visiting St. Anne’s of the Poor Clares Church, head to the sacristy to see the wheel and the large hearth that belonged to the community of nuns of the Clarisse.
The civil architecture in the city is well represented by numerous places, mansions in strategic locations in the heart of these and from its height of thirty-one meters, the imposing clock tower dominates over them.
A visit to the Museum of folk traditions will make us understand better the culture of the area, while a walk just outside the village will be an opportunity to discover the small church dedicated to Santa Maria of Cesano, a simple and humble chapel of the Benedictine monks, exploring mainly the countryside, we may encounter special stone blocks fixed in the ground, probably funerary monuments or altars dedicated to the sun.
Moving away from the coast and within a few kilometers, we reach Ruvo di Puglia, a small village nestled on the hill, rich with history and a precious reservoir of ancient archaeological finds. The Jatta Museum has majority of the important findings, among which the vase of Talos stands out the most, considered as one of the ceramic masterworks in Italy, but there are many artifacts that capture the attention and generate the visitor’s wonder.Not only the museum, but also the historical town center, preserves masterpieces. The Cathedral of Ruvo di Puglia is one of the most significant examples of Romanesque Apulian architecture, in the yard of the church worked excellent craftsmen who gave life to the splendorous main portal and the large rose window from which filters a resplendent play of light that pours down onto the aisles.
Inside the church, a fascinating archaeological tour reveals underground tombs from various eras, remains of houses, Roman cisterns, and mosaic floors.
The Church of Purgatory offers another opportunity to go down in the basement. Located below the church is the Grotto of St. Cletus where the first Christians clandestinely met.
In the Carmelite church, a very particular icon, an image of Christ carved in a cherry-tree trunk, is venerated.
Grandiose noble residences, with their decorations, embellish the streets of the old town center. Palazzo Spada has a marvelous loggia with mythological bas reliefs.
Caputi Palace presents with pride the family crests on the doorposts and a portico supported by stone corbels.
Among the most beautiful buildings in Ruvo we can find Palazzo Avitaja, with its imposing entrance hall and triumphal staircase with adornments and carvings.
A break for lunch is an opportunity to catch your breath and strength. There are many traditional dishes based primarily on poor but tasty food: the mashed broad beans cooked in a clay pot, the oven-baked tiella, that is a pan of baked pasta topped with hardboiled eggs, cheese and mortadella, brasciole with sauce consisting of equine meat rolls filled with parsley, garlic and bacon.
The onion calzone is a real booster that is hard to resist, it consists of a dough made of flour, oil and white wine that encloses a stuffing made from onions, black olives, tomato and salted cod.
In conclusion, a good lunch deserves a good dessert and in Ruvo, we can choose between the Sesemidde, scented with cinnamon and cloves or the Scarcidde, a fragrant lemon dough that contains hardboiled eggs as a sign of good luck during the Easter period.
Gather your strength we may venture into the surrounding woods, a dense Mediterranean scrubland with a rich variety of flora and fauna. It is not difficult to come across foxes, hares, crows, owls, pheasants, hoopoes and rare Mallard.
With a good guide you can visit the Caves of Vagno, charming atmosphere and rich with mystery, that have given back time over time numerous archaeological finds.
Staying overnight in one of the many farms in the area and spending an evening watching the stars shining in a clear sky is the ideal choice before reaching Corato.
It takes only a short drive to reach Corato, you can choose to travel the provincial road or the secondary roads amid the countryside and thus enjoy the view of white and yellow asphodels, poppies, vineyards and olive groves, almond trees. Also, the territory of Corato is rich in archaeological remains, such as burial mounds found in the San Magno with grave goods, or the mysterious dolmens at Chianca of the Paladins; a legend recounts that the dolmen was built by giants who wanted to prove their strength.
The small old town center offers visitors many small peculiarities.
The ancient church of San Vito, perhaps built by the Knights Templar is a very special meditation place, its small size makes it very intimate and cozy. It is fascinating to imagine the knights in their moment of silence before the departure to the Holy Land.
Palazzo de Mattis is delightfully decorated with thirteen pyramidal indentations, and therefore it is also called Palace of pizzute (pointed) stones.
Do not miss a visit to the ancient Convent of the Friars Minor of San Cataldo to admire the façade of 1860 and the beautiful sixteenth century cloister with arches of the late Gothic and Baroque style windows, so much richness is a real joy for the eyes.
To know the history of the city, one must go to the Museum of the City and the Territory; nine rooms narrate the most significant events, with precious archaeological, artistic and anthropological records.
Corato is a region with varied agro-food production, the cuisine is simple but rich in flavor and is now a source of pride for local farms and restaurants, so we just have to sit down at the table and let us be pampered by the goodness generously offered by our land.