Apulia in the far south of Italy is not as widely visited as other parts of the country, but the adventurous traveller is rewarded with stunning wild coastlines, excellent weather, and a taste of a country a world away from the tourist traps of Rome or Venice.
Not many people know that Apulia is also rich in art and culture, with impressive Romanesque, Baroque and older monuments often standing almost unremarked and totally unspoiled. An example is the Abbey of San Leonardo di Siponto on the road between Manfredonia and Foggia, a church dating back to at least the 11th century. It has a unique hole in the ceiling which captures the sun's rays at important astronomical times of the year. The building is still in use as a parish church.
The Civic Museum in Mattinata's historic centre boasts a huge collection of artefacts and grave goods from nearby Mount Saraceno's Daunian Necropolis, while the Giuseppe Andreassi National Archaeological Museum near Egnazi has an extensive exhibition leading the visitor through 5,000 years of local history from the Bronze Age to mediaeval times. In Bari, the Teatro Petruzzelli is Italy's 4th largest theatre built in typically ornate Umbertino style, hosting a rich variety of performances for audiences of up to 1,500 theatre fans. Also in Bari, the Corrado Giaquinto Provincial Art Gallery has an extensive collection of Puglian artwork from the 11th to the 19th century, plus other works from esteemed artists from Venice and elsewhere in Italy.