Trani

Italy

Though this busy fishing port has a few other late medieval churches scattered about the stony historic center, and a newly restored 13th-century castle built by Frederick II on the waterfront (Piazza Manfredi 16, tel. +39-0883-506-603, www.castelloditrani.beniculturali.it), it's the towering Romanesque Cathedral that draws visitors. Begun in 1099 at the very tip of the harbor, it rises stark white and grandiose against the blue of the water beyond—and provides some quite convenient shade for fishermen to mend their nets.

You enter via the lower church around the right side, but first jog up the facade's stairs anyway to inspect the central 12th-century bronze doors with their gorgeous relief panels, and the intricately carved portal around them. Walk all around the exterior, decorated with carved doorways, blind arcading, and sculptures poking out everywhere.

The tall bell tower dates to the 1300s, and there are three layers of lower churches and crypts beneath the airy, bright main church, all preserving ancient Roman columns with carved medieval capitals and some 14th-century sarcophagi, mosaics, and fresco remnants.

While in town, you might also stop by the chruch of San Francesco with its trio of mismatched domes of stacked stonework (the interior's a missable Baroque shambles).

Ristorante La Locanda (restaurant), Via Zanardelli 10-12 tel. +39-0883-480218)

Tips & links

Useful links & resources

Tourist office : Via Cavour 140
tel. and fax +39-0883-588-825

info office:
on Piazza d. Repubblica
tel. +39-0883-43-295

How to get to Trani

A train runs twice hourly from Foggia (50 min.).

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