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Around the millenary history of northern Bari ...

To enjoy the charm of the Manor of Frederick II of Swabia, "Stupor Mundi", we approach during the day taking advantage of a beautiful sunny day ... and here, among so many lush olive groves and vines of good Rosso, we arrive at the octagonal castle , Castel del Monte. Eight hundred years of history divide us from Federico II and his Castles scattered throughout the South of Italy from Sicily to Puglia which is very rich. The list is endless of the Frederick?s Castel: Bari, Barletta, Bisceglie, Brindisi, Monte S. Angelo, Sannicandro di Bari, Gravina, Gela, Lagopesole, Melfi, Milazzo, Gioia del Colle, Oria, Termoli and Trani but also Patti and Porto Recanati. Each one is different, each one magnificent, each one stored or kept in a different way (see Canosa at the end of life) as only Italy knows how to do, sometimes treading on one`s own origins, giving oneself to scratch and not protecting and making it shine with natural light the history and the monuments of which we are rich.
But let`s go back to Castel del Monte and its intriguing history. This castle that to the most unfaithful tourists will seem bare and devoid of interest, since really "cleaned up" of all that contained over the centuries, collects mysteries and interests that many scholars of medieval history, in itself a millennium long, have not managed to unravel . The diagnoses, the studies, the why and why this Castle was built and its use, have created even more the esoteric Myth & Templar where the numbers turn heads.
The light and the peace, the blue sky and the countryside, all around its splendor until you see the "Fidelis" that quell`Andria, loyal to Federico, is one that gives the place and the walls something of magical and enchanted, as if the glory of Federico deserves to be studied and researched elsewhere because the marvelous walls that has left us a legacy deserve respect and protection. And here I must leave a moved regret for the years when the Manor has no surveillance and we talk about times too "modern" to be true (70/80/90). So true, outrageously true, that couples of visitors have been able, as we will also find in Dolmen of Bisceglie, to leave their passage not only with indelible markers but even horror of horrors, engraving their name with a lot of date, at the foot of the entrance to the History, a few steps from the door in precious coral breccia main entrance of the Manor. Between photos and shadows, between mullioned windows and audio-guide stories that bring us back into history, time has passed and being "unlucky" tourists, we only have half a day to visit the Dolmen and the Cathedral of Trani.
So we return to the countryside where the olive trees give the green gold, the precious and unique fruit of the territory, to travel the "Provincial" that connects Andria to Bisceglie to go back even further down the centuries. The Dolmen of Bisceglie "found" in the early 1900s, brings us back thousands of years, 3 since it is dated, according to scholars between 1200 and 1000 BC. Place of burial, so much so that bones of animals were found, fragments of small vases and pottery in stone as well as six skeletons of adults and boys, a bronze pendant and pitcher, preserved in the archaeological museum of Bari.
We are in the countryside for a place that although protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site has "human" are a few gravestones to remember the prestigious recognition (perhaps scarred to erase the name of the then mayor) and non-human living that can protect its sacredness as well as the importance or better still make it a job to tell the story.
There is only a small parking lot for our car and so we can enjoy in the silence I would say tombale, this thousand-year wonder that takes the name of Dolmen Chianca because the natives call it a great stone.
I place myself under what in a modern key looks like the bus shelter that never comes and I find the inevitable written in red by two lovers. Surely their story will have gone wrong ... if not yet my curses and those of history will do their course.
My blonde, passionate and cultured travel companion, you can enjoy all by unleashing her photographic art while I try to take a historical turn-up, I am or I`m not of these lands a primitive fruit only slightly modernized and so ... I try the scents, the lights and the scents while I am taking a modern picture of myself as a being that happens to be in history.
But the light is going out and the sun is lost on the horizon and it is worthwhile to get closer to the last marvel to visit, the Cathedral of Trani. Positioned on the amazing promenade of one of the most beautiful and noble towns of Puglia, we find it there ethereal and beautiful illiminato to party, because, after a few days, the new owner of the local Curia would have settled.
For this reason we can only admire it outside because archpriests priests and altar boys are intent on preparing solemn mass for the new portate. All that remains is to see the white and imposing walls, the entrance portal of the Romanesque "minor" Basilica Tranese enriched with many figures including some depicted in their suffering to hold both the columns and the weight of so much history and much honor . Some humans are also subdued by the Lions here as in other Basilicas to watch over the entrance. But here there are also elephants to witness the presence indeed the omnipresence of Christianity that has been pushed into other worlds known at the time by few live.
And while we are there to photograph and discuss two girls committed to taking "selfies" ask us: "who are you"? Marziani I would like to answer but the blonde companion answers, simple enthusiasts! A wonderful day in the north of Bari between millennia of history draws to a close a good red wine strictly Pugliese company.

Guy La Sgrosce
(thanks for the translation Odette Cloete)