Gioia del Colle, a well-known dairy production centre about an hour’s drive from Casa Isabella, is of very ancient origin, inhabited as far back as prehistoric times, the events concerning the Roman and early medieval age are not known, while the first known history begins in the year 1085 in Norman times.
A territory much loved by Federico II, who wanted to extend the pre-existing Norman castle, after the Angevin and Aragonese periods, the feud was incorporated by the powerful Acquaviva family of Conversano, until 1806, the year in which the decree on the abolition of the feudal rights was issued.
The tourist itinerary begins with a visit to the NORMAN-SWABIAN CASTLE: one of the most beautiful in Apulia, built in 1087 by the Norman Riccardo Siniscalco d’Altavilla and subsequently modified by Frederick II of Swabia, whose façade has very high walls covered with protruding stones (bosses). Continue towards the TEATRO COMUNALE whose construction dates back to 1841, when the Municipality decided to devote to such use the old “Lamione”, a shed of the former Dominican convent.
Continue toward the MOTHER CHURCH: Norman Riccardo Siniscalco, after having built the castle in 1087 founded, in replacement of the ancient church of San Marco, the palatine church of San Pietro (1150), which subsequently took the name of Madonna della Neve.
The façade and the bell tower were completed in 1893 as it reads on the pediment of the Church.
The NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is a must-see: the archaeological area of Mount Sannace is located 5 km from Gioia del Colle, immersed in the Murgia of Bari. The slopes of the hill were occupied by a large peucetic township, a connecting point between the Adriatic and the Ionic sides of which houses, tombs and four walls that made up the fortification of the town are visible.