BARI

This is a City and port of Puglia, on the lower Adriatic. Bari which can be divided into two parts: the Old City and the New City, extends along the banks of the sea for around 7km, following the course of magnificent seashore.

The City was founded by the Peucezi, a population with Illyrian-Messapica origins, which already under the Greeks became a flourishing City. In the 3rd Century BC, famous for the geographical position of its port, it formed an alliance with Rome.
It was a Roman Municipality under Imperial reign, and was known as Barium; also an important road point of Via Traiana, which was subsequently and repeatedly devastated by the Goths and the Byzantines (669). It continued to belong nominally to the Byzantines, even when it was the seat of a Longobard Duke, under the protection of the Duke of Benevento.
The historical and political vicissitudes regarding the destiny of the City continue with the occupation by the Saracens from 840 to 870, after which Bari returned to the Byzantines; apart from a short period of imperial governing at the time of Ottone I and Ottone II (968-982). During the 10th and 11th Centuries, it became the main seat of the Governor General (the so called Catapano), and was dominated by the Eastern Empire. It was also grounds of new feuds between the Saracens, Byzantines and Normans. In 1002, the Venetians liberated the City from a Saracen siege, which had lasted six months, and had attempted a rebellion against the Catapano government, under the leadership of Melo (1009-1016), until it was conquered in 1071 by the Normans led by Roberto il Guiscardo. Its importance grew as a port, becoming a starting point for the Holy Land, Pope Urbano II in 1098, held a great general council here, with participation from Latin and Greek holy men and from Sant’Anselmo, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Vexed by a tough Norman domination, the City rebelled in 1156 and was destroyed by Guglielmo il Malo: reconstructed by Federico II, it flourished under the Svevi, once again falling into decay with the Angioini, under which the city went into feud with various princes (Del Balzo, Caldora). The Aragonesi, having succeeded the Angioini, also took their turn by handing over the City to the Sforza (1464), therefore in the 16th Century it became a splendid ducal court with Isabella of Aragon, widow of Gian Galeazzo Sforza, and her daughter Bona Sforza. Oppressed by the Exchequer and a bad Spanish government, threatened by the Turks and barbaric pirates, decimated by the Plague in 1656, the City passed under control in 1707 to Carlo VI of Austria, only to be handed over in 1734 to the Bourbons, who helped the City in various ways, until the victory of the King.

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BARI
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Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy

 

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