Bovino is a coffer of art,
extending over three hills of the Sub-Apennine Dauno, over
two of which spreads the Castello Ducale (Ducal Castle).
The centre has ancient origins being founded by the Daunii
in 323 BC. It was destroyed for its opposition to Rome and
then re-founded, given the name of Vibinum. It was firstly
subject of the Republic then the Roman Empire.
During the Imperial era, Vibinum was enriched by a forum,
amphitheatre, thermal baths and two temples dedicated to Apollo
After being scourged by Barbaric invasions, Bovino became
part of the Ostrogoth Reign until 535 AD and then entered
under the Longobard Reign during the 7th Century.
Due to its geographical position, it was the centre of clashes
between the Longobards and Byzantines, who destroyed it in
663, causing grave losses to its ancient artistic patrimony.
It flourished under the Byzantines in ‘876 when its
walls were constructed, allowing Bovino to become a imperial
It was the turn of the Saracens, in 967, who had conquered
neighbouring Sicily during the 9th Century, to invade, pillage
and destroy the Byzantine territory.
It was once again destroyed in 1043 by Drogone, Guglielmo
of Altavilla’s brother, who then immediately re-founded
it and built the Norman Castle.
With the advent of the Swabians (1194), the Cathedral was
built and Bovino enjoyed a period of development, which continued
under French and Angioini domination, the latter then gave
it over to Estendardo domination.
Numerous noble families lived here, among which the Spanish
Guevara’s, who during the 16th Century, amplified the
In 1734 it passed under Bourbon domination, together with
the rest of Southern Italy, which was taken from the Hapsburgs
after the Battle of Bitonto.
After the period when it was part of the Republic of Bonaparte,
which ended in 1815, Bovino returned to the Bourbons until
its unification to the Reign of Italy (1860).
Bovino as a region, is considered as one of the most beautiful
historical centres of Italy. Its perimeters still has traces
of the ancient Roman Vibinum.
It has many monuments including a Cathedral which was built
in 1231 by the master Zano from Gaul, who gave it its primitive
Gothic style that inaugurated the season of Romanesque architecture
in Puglia. The most beautiful ancient church in Bovino, however,
is that of S. Peter (1099).
Other religious buildings include: The Church of Saint Francis
(1427), Saint Anthony (1618) and the Church of the Carmine
(built by the Jesuits in the 1600s). Another symbol of the
City is the Ducal Castle with its Norman towers. It was constructed
during the 11th Century and amplified by the Swabians. During
the 16th Century, it was then transformed by the Dukes of
Guevara into one of the most beautiful Southern noble dwellings.
Bovino is known as the city of 800 stone portals, which embellish
all its private habitations.
In the historical Portella quarter, one can still enjoy traces
of the Roman wall. Here one can also visit the Chiesa dell'Annunziata
(Church of the Annunciation) with its Renaissance stone portal.