The "Lioness of Puglia"
In the center of the Bari hinterland, 50 km from the regional capital, that is Bari, on the border with the Basilicata region, stands the city of Altamura.
Altamura is a town of 70,735 inhabitants, and is best known for its DOP bread, the IGP lentil, for the discovery of Homo neanderthalensis and for the dinosaur quarry.
Altamura is nicknamed “Leonessa di Puglia” for the facts relating to the Altamura Revolution, carried out in 1799 which was inspired by the Parthenopean Republic founded on the principles of freedom, equality and fraternity, touted by the French Revolution.
The historic center of Altamura is characterized by alleys and “claustri”, that is, small courtyards overlooking the road, which contain a great artistic heritage.
The historic center is famous above all because inside there is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which was commissioned by the Emperor Frederick II, of Apulian Romanesque style and Federician Gothic, which boasts one of the richest portals in Puglia.
In Altamura we can also find the State Archaeological Museum, which preserves the finds of the Lamalunga cave, including the famous Altamura Man, a human fossil that lived between 250,000 and 400,000 years ago, and the Dinosaur Footprints of the Pontrelli Quarry.
Altamura bread is so famous because it was the first baked product in Europe to receive the prestigious DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) certification. Made from ground durum wheat semolina, prepared with techniques dating back to the Middle Ages and rigorously cooked in a wood oven. Bread is served not only as a complement, but also as a dish, in the two forms: “u skuanète”, crossed and with a high shape, or as a priest’s hat, with a low shape, with a softer dough