Puglia Evo World – Tutta la Puglia dell’Olio in un click 

P.D.O. Land of Bari-Bitonto: between ports, grand cathedrals, and lush woods

Journey into the territory of Extra Virgin Olive Oil PDO Terra di Bari Bitonto, exploring the gateway to the Mediterranean towards the East and an inland area with majestic architectures.

The territory north of the capital and its inland are lands of ports and grand cathedrals in white stone, lush woods, and orderly expanses of olive trees producing EVO PDO Terra di Bari Bitonto. The history of Puglia is evident here in the majestic architectures, as well as in the commercial and cultural exchanges that made it a gateway to the Mediterranean towards the East.

Our journey begins in Ruvo di Puglia, an ancient town along the Trajan’s Way, offering visitors two must-see destinations: the beautiful Romanesque cathedral and the National Jatta Museum. The latter houses an important collection of archaeological artifacts and red-figure Greek vases, including the famous Talos Vase, displayed according to the original museographic arrangement envisioned by Giovanni Jatta, whose family funded excavations in the Ruvo countryside during the 19th century. Descending towards the coast, through the olive groves that are part of the production zone for EVO PDO Terra di Bari Bitonto, you reach Molfetta, a small center with a deep maritime tradition that served as a commercial port since Roman times. The Cathedral of San Corrado, facing the port, dates back to the 13th century and is a beautiful example of Puglian Romanesque architecture. Continuing along the coast southwards, you reach Giovinazzo, a delightful medieval village with a characteristic fortified seafront, offering picturesque views through the alleys and historic buildings.

The territory of Bitonto, from which one of the geographical denominations of Extra Virgin Olive Oil D.O.P. Terra di Bari originates, boasts a renowned olive oil production dating back to the 13th century. It is also a city of art, where the historic center is worth a visit, including the 16th-century Palazzo Sylos-Calò and Palazzo Rogadeo, as well as the Co-Cathedral of San Valentino, a true gem of Puglian Romanesque architecture, housing an ambo decorated with glass pastes following the Islamic patterns cherished by Frederick II of Swabia. As the regional capital, Bari deserves a separate itinerary. Take time to explore the four most important historical phases for the city’s development: the old town, the Murat district, the Umbertino neighborhood, and the interventions of the fascist era. The old town reveals its past as a small fishing village in its narrow alleys, experiencing a new commercial fortune after the relocation of the relics of Saint Nicholas in 1087 and the construction of the Basilica, one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Puglia. The modern center, with its orthogonal urban layout, is named after Gioacchino Murat, who, in the early 19th century, during his rule over the Kingdom of Naples, initiated the construction of the ‘new village’ adjacent to the medieval city. The Umbertino quadrilateral encloses the most important buildings constructed between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, during the city’s economic peak: the marvelous Palazzo dell’Acquedotto Pugliese, inspired entirely by the decorative theme of water, the buildings of the Bank of Italy and the Chamber of Commerce, and the Petruzzelli and Margherita Theaters. Finally, take a stroll along the seafront to appreciate the parade of architectures, including the Kursaal Santalucia, the Palazzo della Provincia, and the Albergo delle Nazioni, designed during the fascist era to make Bari a gateway to the East.

There is a place where false beliefs and old stories related to extra virgin olive oil can find answers: it is the Oil Museum and historic oil mill “Terre di Traiano” in Andria. It was one of the first educational farms in Puglia, and the agricultural company covers over 100 hectares, with 90 dedicated to olive groves.

It is a fortified farmhouse, located not far from Castel del Monte and on the borders of the Alta Murgia National Park.

Today, the Terre di Traiano Oil Museum is hosted in the places that were once stables and carriage warehouses, later used for the production and storage of both oil and wine.

The journey is instructive and sensory, as it includes the tasting area, the exhibition hall, and the Oil Museum with numerous machines that tell the story of extra virgin olive oil’s evolution up to just a few decades ago.

This place of industrial archaeology allows a journey through the centuries, reaching its modern production of organic extra virgin olive oil.