Altamura

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ALTAMURA

Our company  is rooted in the history and culture of the city of Altamura, famous for the unique quality of its bakery products worldwide.

Altamura, also called “The Lioness of Apulia”, is located 40km from Bari and 19km from Matera.

An ancient legend tells that the town was founded by Althea, the queen  of the Myrmidons.

Between VI and III B.C. huge megalithic walls were built to protect the city (Altamura literally means “High-walls”). The town got its peak thanks to the Emperor Frederick II who built an enchanting cathedral, one of the four imperial basilicas of the Apulia region. During the Risorgimento, Altamura was the site of an insurrection  and after the unification it became the provisional  capital of Apulia.

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PLACES OF ART – The Cathedral of Altamura

The Cathedral of Altamura was built by Emperor Frederick II in 1232 and it’s dedicated  to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was built in the same year of the town’s foundation. Following a disastrous earthquake, the cathedral was rebuilt in 1316.

Of great artistic value are the rose window (a masterpiece of the Apulian sculpture dated 300 AD), and the Gothic  portal, probably of the early ‘400 (triumph of decorations and sculptures). The portal is placed in a projecting porch supported on two stone lions, rebuilt in 1533, guarding the entrance to the Cathedral.

On the arches of the portal 22 scenes are carved representing the life of Jesus, from birth to death and resurrection.

CLAUSTRI

Claustri are typical opened squares that lead to the houses of the narrow alleys of the historic center of Altamura. They reflect the urban heritage of the town, being a mixture between Greek courtyards and Arab alleys. The name “claustro” derives from the Latin word “Claustrum” and means “closed” in fact claustri have only one entrance making it easier to bar the way for enemies and defend the family property.

PULO of Altamura

Pulo is a huge hole in the ground, formed by the progressive eroding action of water in the ground. It represents one of the biggest Apulian Doline. The north side of the Pulo is characterized by caves that are inaccessible now but used to be habited in Prehistoric Time.

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ALTAMURA MAN

Altamura man is the 400,000-year-old calcified remains of hominid species believed to be Homo heidelbergensis. It was discovered by the experts of the association “C.A.R.S.” on 7th October 1993 during the exploration of the Lamalunga cave which is located near the town of Altamura.

It represents the only example of Paleolithic hominid having all his various bone segments perfectly preserved.

Dinosaur footprints near Altamura

In an abandoned quarry named Pontrelli, more than 4,000 well-preserved footprints of dinosaurs were discovered, dating back to 70 million years ago. These footprints are organized in slopes and represent more than 200 specimens of at least 5 different species.

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The P.D.O. bread of Altamura

The origin of the “bread of Altamura” is linked to the territory of Murgia (a karst topographic plateau of rectangular shape occupying the central area of Apulia).

The earliest written document describing the Altamura bread is Horatio’s “Satires” in which the Roman poet recalls that during a trip to his native land in the spring of A.D. 37 he tasted “the world’s most delicious bread”.

In the past,  every family used to make bread at home and take it to a communal oven to bake it. To distinguish the different loaves, the baker used to mark each loaf with the householder’s initial.

Here we report an excerpt from the regulations of the Altamura P.D.O./D.O.P. bread: “The Altamura bread is a bakery product made from reground durum wheat flour, milling the following cultivars of durum wheat: Appulo, Duilio, Simeto and Arcangelo produced locally in the area defined in the regulation individually or in combination, accounting for minimum 80%). The product is obtained respecting the ancient production methods based on the use of mother yeast or acid paste, marine salt and water.

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