Ruvo di Puglia (Province of Bari)

The countryside of Ruvo with its vineyards, olive groves and arable land is one of the most extensive in the land of Bari. The woodland scrubland with numerous oak trees (Quercus pubescens) and a well-nourished undergrowth is of considerable interest. The territory included in the "Alta Murgia Park" has the typical characteristics of the Apulian Carsic landscape: karstic valleys or "lame", among which we recall the upper course of the Lama Balice (otherwise known in the past as the "Tiflis torrent"), as well as to graves and caves, including the "Grave della Ferratella", which is the deepest in the region, and the "Abisso di Notarvincenzo".

  • Elevation: 240 m
  • Area: 223,83 km2
  • Population: 25.328
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About pilot area: Ruvo di Puglia (Province of Bari)

Located in the province of Bari in the Alta Murgia characterized by the typical karst territory dotted with natural caves, Ruvo di Puglia was anciently a centre of the Peuceti.

Its name derives from the Latin rupes which means rock with reference to the nature of the territory.

Its territory has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic (60 thousand years ago) while in the Cortogiglio district remains of agricultural villages have been found.

Inhabited by the Ausoni since the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC) and then by the Japigi (of Greek origin, 12th century BC) Rhyps experienced its greatest splendor between the 5th and the 3rd century when it had entered the economic orbit of Greek cities of Puglia and had strong trade with Athens. It became an important economic center that based its wealth on trade in oil and wine, developing a thriving collateral production of transport and service vessels, as evidenced by the many finds found in the countryside of Ruvo during the excavation campaigns carried out by the Jatta, from the Caputi and from the Fenicia (patricians of the city).

Following the Samnite wars and the one against Taranto, the city entered the orbit of Roman influence, to then become in the Late Republic after the wars with Pirro (272 BC) first a military station and later under the name of Rubi, municipium. To witness the strategic importance of the city there is the fact that it is crossed by the Via Traiana. This allowed it to develop economically for the duration of the imperial era.

The barbarian invasions did not spare her and Ruvo di Puglia seems to have been destroyed by the Goths in 463. After the Ostrogoths' domination passed until 535, Ruvo became Byzantine in 553, attracting Basilian monks fleeing from the iconoclastic persecutions operated by the emperors of the East starting from from the 7th century.

At the center of a land of battle between the Lombards and the Byzantines in the VIII, IX and X centuries, Ruvo also suffered the repeated attack of Saracens (857) who from the 9th century landed on the Apulian coasts from neighboring Sicily and Calabria.

In the year 1000 it became a bishopric.

Annexed by the Normans to the Kingdom of Sicily by King Ruggero (1040) and later united to the county of Conversano by King Tancredi (1129), Ruvo became a fiefdom being fortified under the Swabians of Frederick II (13th century) who wanted the construction of Cathedral.

In Ruvo the Templars had an important seat in the 12th and 13th centuries from which they left for the Holy Land.

After 1269 the village passed, like all southern Italy, under the domination of the Angevins who modified the Norman castle and entrusted the fief to the De Colant who distinguished themselves for their bad government. In 1291 Ruvo passed to Roberto de Juriaco and in the XIV century it was the center of the clash between Queen Joanna I and Louis of Hungary.

The feudal lord of Ruvo, Gazzone de Denysiaco, was accused of the death of the husband of Joanna I, brother of King Louis of Hungary, who came to Italy to avenge his death by seizing the throne of Naples. In 1348 the situation was reversed and Giovanna, back in Naples, claimed possession of her Apulian lands. Besieged by the lord Roberto Sanseverino, faithful to the queen, Ruvo had to give up and return to the queen's possessions, later becoming a fief of the de Vrunforts, the Orsini del Balzo and the Spanish de Requenses (1499). As part of the clash between the French and the Spanish, Ruvo was conquered by the former and besieged by the latter who reconquered it with Consalvo di Cordova who returned the city to the Requenses.

In 1509 the Requenses sold the fiefdom to Cardinal Oliviero Carafa who united the County of Ruvo to the Duchy of Andria in 1522 until the abolition of feudalism in 1806. In this period the city of Ruvo experienced a period of splendor that brought the arrival of Dominican monks and the beginning of a urban renewal and construction with the construction of numerous churches, convents and "palaziate" houses.

During this long period new religious orders were established in the city and they built new places of worship: the Convent of San Domenico (1560) and the Capuchins (1607). A plague made citizenship almost disappear (1656)

After the brief French republican experience of Naples (1806-1815) Ruvo and all of Puglia merged into the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons. The citizens of Ruvo di Puglia actively participated in the revolutionary experiences of 1799, of 1821 by opening a carbonara resale (Perfect loyalty, 1816), of 1848 and 1860 which led to the unification of the Kingdom of Italy proclaimed March 17, 1861.

In the city the greatest monuments are the Romanesque Cathedral with a beautiful portal, a magnificent rose window and a hypogeum with a mosaic floor from the Roman era. The church of the Annunziata (1377), the Castle and the Fondo Marasco complete the visit to the medieval Ruvo.

From the Roman city you can admire a cistern (Grotta di San Cleto), a plaque dedicated to the Emperor Marco Antonio Gordiano Pio (225-244), set in the Clock Tower (1604) and the Jatta Museum, where important vases are kept attics and others of local production of the Hellenistic period.

Touristic thematics

  • Natural
  • Historical
  • Archaeological