The Capitanata and its capital
Foggia is Apulia's third city, a town situated in the middle of the geographical area of the Tavoliere, the promontory of Gargano, and the Murge in the north. This land was already important during Roman times for the abundant cultivation of wheat, and it continued to prosper under the Swabian domain of Frederick II. Nothing could be simpler and more comfortable than visiting the beauties of Foggia and the surrounding area, on board one of our rental cars!
Foggia, the subtle charm of the Tavoliere
An immense green stretch of land, flat as far as the eye can see, punctuated by ancient ruins, and dazzling white farms, emerald sea that stands out on a shining blue sky: this is the cradle where Foggia rises, inhabited centre since antiquity, and crossroads of traditions and peasant culture.
Today we can only admire whatever is left of historical Foggia after the 1731 earthquake, and the bombings of the Second World War, but it's still enough to give us a taste of this city that is hap Apulian, and half Campana since the territory used to belong to the Bourbons.
Between modernity and tradition
Visiting Foggia is like moving within a black and white movie, an atmosphere that recalls the post-war reconstruction made of modernity, and tradition. Here we are, in piazza Cavour heart of the city with its famous Sele Fountain — symbol of Foggia — inaugurated in 1924 to celebrate the construction of the aqueduct.
From here, it is easy to access the Karol Wojtyla municipal villa, a real urban park, the second largest in Italy, a green lung enriched with statues, fountains, kiosks, a grove, and a beautiful pronaos with 28 columns.
Right next to the villa is the Palazzo dell'Acquedotto, an historical building in pure Art Nouveau style dated back to 1926, so called because it houses the municipal offices of the aqueduct. Our visit of the city continues towards the elegant Umberto Giordano Theatre, built in 1828, and still today a reference point for music, prose and ballet performances.
We are close to Porta Arpana, one of the five gates that once gave access to the city, and the only one still existing, its three arches connect with the City Museum that houses important archaeological finds, and artistic works that extend to the Neapolitan paintings of the nineteenth century.
Among the most important historical buildings of Foggia, there is certainly its cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, from the Federician era, built in 1170 and later rebuilt following the earthquake of 1731. In this church there is a very rare icon of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Seven Veils, miraculously found by shepherds over 250 years ago.
We end our tour with one of the oldest palaces of Foggia, Palazzo Dogana, building of fifteenth century building located in piazza XX Settembre, ancient seat of the Royal Customs of the Mean of the Sheep of Foggia, converted to the headquarters of the Province.
The surroundings and culinary delights
Driving through the province of Foggia with your rental car, you can't miss a visit to the surrounding areas, starting from the Gargano's promontory with its delightful little towns like Peschici, Vieste, Pugnochiuso, and its charming sea, arriving to the castle of Frederick II in Castel del Monte, and the marvellous Trani, with its Cathedral overlooking the sea.
But Foggia is not only art and culture, thanks to its particular geographical position, and its centenary agricultural vocation, the city boasts many local delicacies that we strongly suggest you to taste: taralli, orecchiette di grano arso, caciocavallo, mozzarelle, struffoli, cartellate, bread of Monte Sant'Angelo... a feast for the palate in the name of authenticity and flavour.