A Day in Altamura

December 15, 2015,

Altamura, the small city in the province of Bari, is little known by those outside of Italy. If you do make the trip, you will be delighted to find a charming historical city worthy of exploration and Italy’s (i.e. the worlds) best and most famous focaccia bread.

A Day in AltamuraAltamura is beautiful, cobblestoned and inviting. The historical center is especially full of life, people (young and old), shops, restaurants and cafés, cathedrals and “forno antico” (antique oven in English). You’ll only need a handful of hours to explore the historical center but I do suggest taking your time to linger and stroll through the cobblestoned streets, taking in the sights and scents.

Why Altamura?

A Day in Altamura / at an antique ovenThe Bread
Altamura is known as the town of bread. Their bread is so good and special; it is actually protected (PDO). It’s likely if you’ve come to Italy, you’re a fan of pizza, bread and focaccia so why not try the world’s best bread? The oldest bread oven, Forno Santa Chiara, dates back to 1423 – yep almost 600 years.

Another delicious bread/focaccia maker to visit is Forno Santa Caterina, dating back to 1724. Not as old but in my humble opinion, the more delicious of the two. But don’t take my word for it – try several pieces at different ovens. They are fun to visit and a piece of focaccia costs less than a euro!

The Cathedral
Visiting the Altamura Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta) is like stepping foot in a museum: appreciate the intricate carvings of scenes from the New Testament and the numerous paintings throughout the large structure. Having visited in November, the Nativity scene was up – and it was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

A Day in Altamura / tette delle monache and caffeTraditional Drink and Dessert
Caffe’ Ronchi, established in 1832 (yes – this really is a historic town) is famous for its noci and tette delle monache. Noci is hazelnut liquor and tette are soft cake-like desserts that in English translate to nun’s breasts (to note: they are not vegan). Even if you aren’t a liquor lover (I’m not either!), it’s still fun to taste the unique, traditional drinks and desserts of a town.

A day in Altamura really is a day of tasting the delicious local and traditional foods, paired with strolling charming cobblestoned streets, encounters with sweet old ladies and one too many espressos – and a lovely way to spend a day, in my opinion!

Which are your favourite small Italian cities?
Have you been to Altamura? Which antique oven was your favourite?
Comment below!A Day in Altamura

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7 Comments

  • Reply Ilena C. December 15, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I love the photos!…so medieval Italy. I was given a bottle of the noci liquor and wow! it packs a punch!

    Love the photo of you strolling the town of Altamura and it’s a shame that small town Italy is too often neglected. Those are the towns where most people emigrated from and although they may not be as busy or populated as the larger centres, they have kept their character and time seems to have stood still.

    Thanks for the peek into the past!

  • Reply Ilena C. December 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Here is my list of small towns in little known Molise…Sant’Elia a Pianisi, Ripabottoni, the city of Campobasso, to name just three. What is great about smaller towns is that they still have festivals and now many have Bed and Breakfasts! Their churches are not very large, yet they do have art that can date back six hundred years. Everywhere is history.

    Thanks again!

  • Reply Celia December 18, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Italy is a historic country and so beautiful, people love going just about anywhere in Italy. I as a bread lover, definitely will visit this cozy town. I really want to visit south of Italy one day.

  • Reply Laura Verbich December 18, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    What a MAGICAL place!!!! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us… you truly inspire us to want to expand our worlds!

  • Reply saverio January 6, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Grazie sei molto gentile a ricordarti di noi. Il fatto che ti ricordi di noi ci fa pensare che stiamo sul verso giusto. Ciao e grazie spero che ritorni presto.

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring January 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Grazie mille a vuoi! Anche io spero che posso ritornare presto… 🙂

  • Reply Italy Undiscovered: A Week in Puglia February 20, 2016 at 2:56 am

    […] a beautiful, charming old city centre. I wrote an article all about Altamura and you can read it here. Your incentive to read about the city: Altamura is known as “la città del pane”, the […]

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