Welcome to Conversano, a charming town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, south-eastern Italy. With a history that dates back to the Iron Age, Conversano offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its ancient walls, medieval castle, and Romanesque cathedral. The town is located just 7 kilometers from the Adriatic coast and sits at an elevation of 219 meters above sea level, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

One of the town’s most famous claims to fame is its association with the Lipizzaner horses, thanks to the counts of Conversano who bred black Neapolitan stallions with Barb and Andalusian genetic backgrounds. In fact, one horse born in 1767, Conversano, became one of the principal stallions for establishing the Lipizzan horses.

Visitors to Conversano can’t miss the medieval castle, which dates back to the Gothic Wars and overlooks the town from a hilltop. The castle was rebuilt from the 11th century and has a single round tower that was added by Giulio Antonio Acquaviva. Another must-see is the Romanesque cathedral, which is the see of the diocese of Conversano-Monopoli. Built in the 11th century and renovated in the 14th and 17th centuries, the cathedral boasts a large 15th-century rose window and three portals with sculpted decoration. The church also houses the icon of the Madonna della Fonte, protector of the city.

For those looking to delve deeper into Conversano’s history, a visit to the Benedictine Monastery is a must. Founded in the 6th century, the Benedictines were replaced by a group of Cistercian nuns from Greece in 1266. The church has maintained part of the 11th-century structure, while the decorated side entrance is from 1658. Visitors can also explore the crypt, dedicated to San Mauro, which dates back to the 11th century.

Other landmarks worth seeing include the megalithic walls erected by the Pelasgi in the 6th century BC, the Baroque church of SS. Cosma e Damiano, the church of St. Francis, and the church of St. Catherine just outside the city.

Sports enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that the local handball team has won the national league in the 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06, and 2009-10 seasons.

Conversano also has strong ties with other cities around the world, including Cascia and Nardò in Italy, Fratta Polesine, Trecenta, and Recanati in Italy, and Bethlehem in the Palestinian Authority.

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply soaking up the charm of an Italian town, Conversano has something for everyone. Come and explore this hidden gem for yourself and discover why it should be on every traveler’s bucket list!

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