Trani: A Saintly Seaside Treasure

November 20, 2014 / Places
Trani, Puglia

Like so many picturesque seaside towns in Puglia, Trani continues to be influenced by its proximity to the rugged Adriatic coastline.

Included in the Puglia Imperiale, Trani is one of the cities where Emperor Frederick II spent his holidays. He constructed Trani Castle in the 13th century (his son was even married here) as well as the formidable Castel del Monte approximately 23 miles inland. From Castel del Monte he could peruse his kingdom and invaders approaching the port from the east. Trani Castle endured numerous invasions and transformations over the centuries until, in 1998, it was restored for public use.

Trani Castle - Photo Victoria De Maio

Across Piazza Manfredi is the stunning Cattedrale di San Nicola dedicated to San Nicola Pellegrino, Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim. Saint Nicholas was a poor Greek who died here in 1094 en route to a pilgrimage in Rome. Construction of the cathedral over the site of another 4th century church began in 1099, the year Nicola was canonized by Urban II.

Trani cathedral-Photo Victoria De Maio

Declared in 2002 by UNESCO as a “Monument Messenger of a Culture of Peace”, it is constructed from pale pink limestone quarried from local caves and which gives it a lovely, luminous quality. Built in Romanesque style, it is quite spectacular with its transept, triple nave, and 28 dramatic Greek marble columns. On display are the imposing 12th century bronze-clad bas-relief wooden doors recounting tales of the past.

Trani cathedral columns-Photo Victoria De Maio
Trani cathedral fresco 1-Photo Victoria De Maio
Trani cathedral doors-Photo Victoria De Maio
Trani cathedral doors detailPhoto Victoria De Maio

Entering the lower floor there are remnants of 12th century frescoes and a richly decorated mosaic floor leading to the hall crypt where the relics of Saint Nicholas rest in an elegant silver shrine.

Trani fresco-Photo Victoria De Maio

Leaving the Piazza, a pleasant stroll along the impressive sea walls will eventually lead you to a lovely harbor and marina. Fishermen are selling today’s catch and numerous bars and restaurants promise fresh fish on tonight’s menu. Lingering seems like an excellent idea, don’t you agree?

Trani marina fishermen-Photo Victoria De Maio

Trani marina view-Photo Victoria De Maio

Victoria De Maio

by Victoria De Maio

Victoria is a lover of all things Italian! A travel advisor, blogger, writer, tour leader, and published author, she is passionate about traveling to and writing about Italy.

Her book, Victoria’s Travel Tipz Italian Style, is available on Amazon.

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8 Responses to “Trani: A Saintly Seaside Treasure”

  1. Thanks for this note – the photos are beautiful and brought back memories of that wonderfully peaceful cathedral, as well as the beautiful town of Trani.

    Reply
  2. Gian Banchero

    Thank you Victoria for the wonderful visit to Puglia AND the beautiful photos, a great way to start the day!

    Reply
  3. Francesco Paolo

    Another beautiful Pugliese seaport town. This and Giovinazzo are my favorites north of Bari.

    Reply
  4. Shirley Coppock

    Thank you for the “Personal Tour” via photography and historical comments. May You be Blessed to continue to share your interesting knowledge and advice.

    Reply

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