Welcome to Giovinazzo, a picturesque town located in the Apulia region of southeastern Italy. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and charming atmosphere, Giovinazzo is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply seeking a relaxing coastal getaway, this captivating destination has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the wonders of Giovinazzo and explore why it should be on your travel radar.
Giovinazzo traces its roots back to the Roman era when it was known as Natolium. As a small fortified center, it played a significant role during the Punic Wars. After the Byzantine period, it transformed into a countship and later a duchy. Its history is deeply intertwined with the rich tapestry of Italian heritage.
One of the main attractions in Giovinazzo is the co-cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta (Mary’s Assumption). Built in the Norman period, the cathedral showcases a unique blend of Apulian Romanesque and Eastern influences. Its construction dates back to 1150-1180 and it was consecrated in 1283. The cathedral underwent a Baroque remodeling in the 18th century under the guidance of Bishop Paolo De Mercurio. Visiting this architectural masterpiece is like stepping back in time.
Another notable sight in Giovinazzo is the Ducal Palace/Castle, dating back to the 17th century. This impressive structure is a testament to the town’s historical importance. Take a stroll through its grand halls and imagine the events that unfolded within its walls throughout the centuries.
For history enthusiasts, Giovinazzo offers the opportunity to explore two columns of the Via Traiana. Although the road itself didn’t pass through the city, these columns serve as a reminder of the ancient Roman presence in the area. They stand as silent witnesses to the past, inviting visitors to delve into the region’s rich past.
If you’re willing to venture a little further, a visit to the nearby Castel del Monte is highly recommended. This famous castle, built by Frederick II Hohenstaufen in the 13th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its unique octagonal shape and strategic location provide a glimpse into the architectural prowess of the time.
Giovinazzo’s connection to the arts and entertainment world is also worth mentioning. The town is the birthplace of Nicholas Turturro, the father of the renowned American actor, John Turturro. This familial tie adds a touch of Hollywood glamour to Giovinazzo’s already fascinating history. Additionally, the town has produced talented individuals like Raffaele Sollecito, who was falsely accused and incarcerated for the homicide of Meredith Kercher, and Enzo Camporeale, a celebrated pianist and composer.
So, whether you’re exploring the cobblestone streets, indulging in the local cuisine, or simply relaxing by the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, Giovinazzo promises an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in its rich history, marvel at its architectural wonders, and let the charm of this enchanting town captivate your heart. Start planning your trip to Giovinazzo today and discover the magic of this hidden Italian gem.