Barletta, the Challenge and the Surrounding Area
Barletta has played a very significant part in history, not only in Apulia. At the time of the crusades, it was one of the most important ports on the Adriatic for reaching the Holy Land. Emperor Frederick II was well aware of the importance of Barletta. The town passed under Angioin control and reached the pinnacle of its prosperity under the Aragonese, who made it the second city of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1503, the "da Veleno" tavern in Barletta was the place where an altercation between Italians and Frenchmen caused a confrontation that became known as the "Challenge of Barletta". The Italian soldiers demonstrated their valour directly in the field, in a merciless challenge from which they emerged victorious.
The town also showed its valour during the two World Wars: having won 11 gold medals and 215 silver medals, Barletta is the most decorated town in the country. Barletta's hinterland is full of attractions, including Andria, with its symbol of Frederick II's greatness, Castel del Monte; Minervino, known as Apulia's balcony; Canosa, an ally of Rome at the time of the Punic Wars; and the beautiful city of Trani, where the "queen of Cathedrals" soars over the sea, not forgetting Bisceglie with its five megalithic
dolmens, and the spa and seaside resort of Margherita di Savoia, with its saltpans.