Altamura is a town in the province of Bari. It is best known for its delicious PDO bread and PGI lentils, but not only: also for the discovery in the nineties of the last century ofMan from Altamura, a Neanderthal man. Moreover, for the facts relating to the revolution of 1799, she is nicknamed the lioness of Puglia.
There are many things that attract tourists to visit this place, from the excellent food to the archaeological heritage, from the nature of the Alta Murgia National Park to its historic center, which due to its characteristics can be considered a small village within the city.
Here is a driving on Altamura: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening!
- 10 things to see in Altamura in a weekend
- What to see in Altamura in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Altamura: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Altamura
- Plan your stay in Altamura: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Altamura in a weekend
1 - The Cathedral
Along the street of the main street of the city is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, the cathedral of Altamura. Born in the Apulian Romanesque style, today, following various modernizations, it is presented in Baroque style, especially inside where you can see the three naves divided by columns and pillars, and a rich wooden ceiling decorated in gold. Outside, however, there is a valuable portal with two life-size lions as if to guard the entrance. The whole is enriched by two tall bell towers of the sixteenth century, connected to each other by a balustrade loggia surmounted by a tympanum, also visible from the outside of Altamura itself.
Admission to the Cathedral is free, except for the women's galleries, the balconies above the side aisles. To go up, in fact, you need to buy a € 3,00 ticket for MUDIMA (Diocesan Museum Matronei Altamura). It houses a collection of silverware, ancient codes, sculptures, and from here it is possible to admire the church from above and the external panorama.
- in Corso Federico II di Svevia; from Piazza Municipio on foot in 3 min - Get directions
- 8:00-12:00 e 16:00-20:00
2 - Porta Bari
This door was part of theancient walls of which today very little remains. Mark the entrance to the historic center, crossing it you will enter the main street of the city, which overlooks the Cathedral.
But not only that, it is It is also advisable to go and browse the sides. On one side there is the Ethnographic Museum of Alta Murgia, while in the other direction Via Santeramo in Colle, which goes towards the National Archaeological Museum, and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, which delimits the historic center to the east. Given the importance of the intersection, it is inevitable that Porta Bari is a rather busy part of the city and that it is the starting point of many guided walking tours of the Apulian city.
- from Piazza Municipio on foot in 2 min - Get directions
- always accessible
3 - Ethnographic Museum of Alta Murgia
The Ethnographic Museum of Alta Murgia was born thanks to Pietro Locapo, nicknamed the "wolf of the Murgia", collector and archaeological overseer. In 1980 he founded the Museum of Rural Life, with the aim of exhibiting his collection of about 1.000 objects concerning the agricultural-pastoral life of the Alta Murgia area.
After having sold his collection of artefacts to the Municipality, which was becoming increasingly large, a phase of abandonment followed in which the objects risked deterioration. An exhibition organized on the occasion of the Festa dell'Unità in 1992 favored the recovery of about 1.200 objects. Only recently, however, in March 2010, thanks to a regional tender, it reopened. To the original artifacts others have been added, thanks to which the visitor can do a real journey into the world of cereal farming, sheep farming and ancient professions like the blacksmith, the shoemaker and the carpenter.
- Via Vittorio Veneto, 53; from Piazza Municipio on foot in 3 min - Get directions
- mar-mer 10:30-12:30; gio-ven 10:30-12:30 e 16:00-19:00; sab-dom 10:30-12:30 e 15:00-20:00
4 - Baldassarre Palace
Palazzo Baldassarre has become a museum to tell the story great discovery of the Man of Altamura. In 1993 a group of speleologists discovered in the Lamalunga Grotto, a few km from Altamura, the remains of a Neanderthal man, the oldest Neanderthal whose DNA could be read. The physical reproduction of the portion of the cave where the discovery took place is exhibited here, and through the guided tour you will be told all the curiosities of the studies carried out later.
The Palace also it is part of the museum network which also includes the Lamalunga Visitor Center and the National Archaeological Museum. In addition to the single ticket valid for one of these sites, it is possible buy an integrated one to visit also 2 or 3 sites of the territory to choose from museums, cathedral, caves, farms and ovens. Highly recommended as, with the integrated ticket, you will receive a loaf as a gift of the famous Altamura PDO bread.
- from Piazza Municipio on foot in 7 min - Get directions
- from March to May 9: 00-13: 00 and 15: 00-19: 00; from June to September 10: 00-13: 00 and 14: 00-19: 00; from October to February 10: 00-13: 00 and 15: 00-18: 00
- € 4,00 full, € 2,00 reduced - integrated ticket for 2 sites € 7,00 full, € 3,00 reduced - integrated ticket 3 sites € 9,00 full, € 4,00 reduced
5 - National Archaeological Museum
This is where the reproduction of the Man of Altamura is exhibited we talked about above. It was created by the Dutch twins Adrie and Alfons Kennis, specialists in paleontological reconstructions. Thanks to them and their excellent work, today we can see it in life size, as it should have been in life, its height is estimated at around 165 cm.
In the National Archaeological Museum of Altamura the possibility is offered to understand more or less how the men of Prehistory thought and materially worked, both in the application of techniques and in the production of everyday objects. Of the three sites that are part of the museum network, this one is free.
- Via Santeramo in Colle, 88; from Piazza Municipio on foot in 8 min - Get directions
- Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 9: 00-13: 30; Tue and Thu 9: 00-19: 00; first and second Sunday of each month 9: 00-13: 30
6 - The Claustri of Altamura
The so-called "claustri" are nothing but typical closed courtyards in the urban spaces of the historic center Altamurano. The local name is "gnostre" and they are unique in popular architecture, there are about 80 and represent the aggregation of family groups. In short, if you come across some small narrow alley, don't stop, it could lead you to a beautiful cloister.
There are two types: those in Greek style, with the large rounded shape and a well or a tree in the center, and those in Arabic style, narrow and long with a closed road and at the bottom a well for rainwater. Between the most picturesque and characteristic that we suggest you see there are the cloisters Giudecca, located in Via S. Lucia, and Tradimento, located in Via G. Falconi.
- they are mostly scattered on the streets of the historic center, reachable from Piazza Municipio on foot in 6 min - Get directions
- always accessible
7 - The historic center
Walking through the historic center of Altamura you will come across many characteristic streets and squares and typical shops, among these you can stop in the village bakeries and taste the delicious focaccia from Bari and the delicious Altamura bread, still cooked today in a wood oven.
It rises inside the walls, and therefore it has a circular shape, with the streets that meet at the Cathedral. The main road that "cuts" the medieval old town into two parts is bounded by Porta Matera and Porta Bari and is Corso Federico II di Svevia. You can also visit it by booking a walking tour with a local guide who will tell you the history of this city.
- from Piazza Municipio on foot in 6 min - Get directions
- always accessible
8 - Boscosauro and Tenuta Sabini
And the great place to visit if you have children with you or if you are passionate about the theme. You can find it just outside the city of Altamura, towards the nearby Modugno. It is a open-air museum with life-size reconstructions of dinosaurs of the Jurassic who are also able to move and emit noises thanks to animatronics technology.
The Boscosaurus is also equipped with a woods to be explored on foot or by bike among the oak woods and pastures of the Sabini Estate. And then there is also an area suitable for picnics surrounded by nature but fully equipped. Tenuta Sabini, in addition to being a family-run farm, is a site of considerable naturalistic interest. Inside you can visit the underground pools for the collection of rainwater, the caves with their finds, a splendid aviary with various species of birds considered the direct descendants of dinosaurs, and walk among more than 1.200 species of spontaneous plant plants.
- from the center of Altamura by car in 15 min - Get directions
- Saturday and Sunday 10: 00-18: 00
- € 8,00 full, € 6,00 reduced (children up to 4 years free)
9 - Pulo of Altamura
On the outskirts of the city, in the heart of the Murgiana area, stands the Pulo di Altamura. IS' the largest karst sinkhole in the Alta Murgia, located about 477 meters above sea level. It is about a crater created in a natural way and which has a depth of 80 meters.
And the ideal place for those who love trekking and naturalistic excursions. The origin of the term pulo is actually unknown, it is used in particular in the territory of the Murge to indicate the sinkholes, but it is not used in other regions of Puglia, such as in the Gargano where the term sinkhole is directly preferred.
In a place not far from here, in the Lamalunga district, in the homonymous cave (closed to tourists), it was found the aforementioned Man of Altamura, and therefore it can be deduced that he probably frequented the area and its caves. It is possible to book guided tours and excursions in the caves at the Lamalunga Visitor Center.
- from the center of Altamura by car in 25 min - Get directions
- always accessible
10 - Gravina in Puglia
It is a town located about 13 km from Altamura and is always recommended to stop here too during a trip to this territory. Also because in terms of connections there are no problems, if you don't have a car, for example, you can reach it by bus in 20 minutes, one leaves every hour from Viale Regina Margherita (€ 1,10).
It is also part of the Alta Murgia National Park, and the its name derives from the numerous ravines and puli which are located in the surrounding area. A must see: the Co-cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Castle, the underground city and the 37 meter high bridge that connects the two sides of a ravine.
- from the center of Altamura by car in 20 min, or by Trenitalia bus (20 min, € 1,10) - Get directions
- always accessible
What to see in Altamura in one day: recommended itinerary
Start with a breakfast at Caffetteria Del Viale (€ 3,00) just a few steps from the city entrance, Porta Bari. From here you start your tour by reaching the Altamura Cathedral, along Corso Federico II di Svevia. Then walk towards the historic center and among the characteristic streets and cloisters you can stop in the typical shops to taste a Bari focaccia and Altamura bread. Dedicate a stage of your day to National archeologic museum, with the life-size reproduction of the famous Man of Altamura.
For lunch, stop by Salumeria BocconDiVino (€ 10,00).
In the afternoon you reach Baldassarre Palace. Before evening arrives, dedicate yourself a little relaxation in the nature in the Murgiana area: reach by car (25 min) the Pulo of Altamura, stopping at the Lamalunga Visitor Center, halfway (excursions available to reach the entrance of the Grotta dell'Uomo, the Grotta della Capra, the Pulo, the Mena Park).
At the end of the day, after being returned to the country, stop and taste the homemade dishes of the Trattoria Federico II di Svevia (€ 20,00).
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Caffetteria Del Viale (Get directions)
- Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta - opening hours: 8: 00-12: 00 and 16: 00-20: 00 - ticket price: free
- Historic center and cloister - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
- National Archaeological Museum - opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 9: 00-13: 30; Tue, Thu 9: 00-19: 00; first and second Sunday of each month 9: 00-13: 30 - ticket price: free
- Lunch at Salumeria BocconDiVino (Get directions)
- Palazzo Baldassarre - opening hours: from March to May 9: 00-13: 00 and 15: 00-19: 00; from June to September 10: 00-13: 00 and 14: 00-19: 00; from October to February 10: 00-13: 00 and 15: 00-18: 00 - ticket price: € 4,00 full, € 2,00 reduced
- Pulo di Altamura - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
- Dinner at Trattoria Federico II di Svevia (Get directions)
Where to eat in Altamura: the best restaurants
- Three Arches: zero kilometer Altamura dishes and pizza, even gluten-free, in a family restaurant with stone vaults
Average price per person: € 35,00
Address and contacts: Via S. Michele, 28 (Get directions) / tel: 080 3115569
- BocconDiVino delicatessen: menu with an excellent choice of meat, cold cuts, wines and beers, candlelit and super cozy atmosphere
Average price per person: € 40,00
Address and contacts: Via Santeramo in Colle, 149 (Get directions) / tel: 080 3103489
- Trattoria Federico II of Swabia: restaurant of traditional cuisine with hearty homemade dishes, located in the center
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Via G. Luciani, 3 (Get directions) / tel: 080 3145699
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Altamura
As for the nightlife, in Altamura we can recommend some bar open until late where you can drink an excellent cocktail or some local wine, and why not eat some snacks too. There most are concentrated in the streets of the center, this makes the atmosphere that you breathe even more magical and unique. After spending your day around the country you can stop in one of these places and enjoy excellent drinks and excellent food.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Ronchi Striccoli coffee: bar perfectly in tune with the medieval center of Altamura, with excellent cocktails and the typical walnut liqueur / Address: Corso Federico II di Svevia, 87 (Get directions)
- Minnamoro: nice bar in the historic center, including cocktails for all tastes and carefully chosen products / Address: Via Scipione Ronchetti, 27 (Get directions)
- Tomodivino: wine bar where you can taste local wines and excellent bruschetta, sometimes evenings with live music are organized / Address: Claustro Francesco Sallicano (Get directions)
Plan your stay in Altamura: info and useful tips
- by train from Bari, 1 h, the city is served by the station on the Bari-Matera line; by car, Altamura is the crossroads of the SS99, SS96, SP238, SP235; by plane to Bari, then take a SITA bus (50 min, € 3,40)
- Getting around: on foot, like all medium-large cities in Puglia, only a few authorized cars can pass through the center which is ZTL (limited traffic area)
- Where to park: near the historic center in Piazza Matteotti (€ 0,80 / h, the night is free) - Get directions)
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 30,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Bitonto (40 km), Cassano delle Murge (22 km), Gravina in Puglia (13 km), Matera (19 km), Castel del Monte (55 km)