There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Ruvo di Puglia. Good. This article will be a pleasant surprise, especially if you’re planning a trip to central Puglia.
Ruvo is located in Bari province. It’s known for wine and olive oil. That’s never a bad thing. It’s not far from Castel del Monte. It is also near the Adriatic coast and towns like Trani and Giovinazzo.
Ruvo isn’t what I’d call a ravenously beautiful city. But then again, even on stormy days you might encounter a snippet of natural harmony that makes you happy.
The cathedral is Romanesque and has fine carvings and some famous art. You can get underneath it to see an earlier Palaeo-Christian church and Roman tombs. You can also find earlier remains under The Church of Purgatorio just down the street on Via Cattedrale.
The Museum Jatta
People have been living in the area since around the 9th century BC. You’ll find evidence of that in the archaeological museum inside the Palazzo Jatta called the Museum Jatta. It is a fabulous museum with four rooms.
The Jatta boys did a great job amassing the collection. I don’t usually say this about pot collectors, but the situation in the area was different, as I understand it. Farmers were always on the lookout for coins, which they could sell for a bundle. The pottery their plows found was just a marker for them. They threw ceramics aside as they searched for their coinage. The Jattas convinced them to save the stuff, and they made a place for it.
I like the ceremonial, animal head drinking cups. It’s like they were made yesterday.
One of the most famous items in the museum is huge in size and in archaeological circles. It’s what they call the Talos Krater. A krater is a vessel which was used to mix wine and water. Talos was the protector of the island of Crete. He was made of copper. The illustration shows the capture and death of Talos at the hands of Medea and the brothers Castor and Pollux.
The museum is free. Surprised? I wasn’t because we had already known about a disastrous decision by the Ministry to make small museums free. I asked an employee anyway, and she confirmed that the museum had been declared free from higher-ups. Even worse, there can’t be bookstores in these little gems to make even pocket money. I love Italy, but sometimes I am left like this employee—shaking my head. The world is a surprising place.
Where to Eat in Ruvo di Puglia
There are many restaurants in Puglia. The oddly named Restaurant U.P.E.P.I.D.D.E. serves all the traditional foods of the region as well as the top wines. It’s not expensive. It has a fantastic “cantina”: for wine lovers looking for a special bottle.
The restaurant was a great suggestion by our host at the Posta Santa Croce Agriturismo where we stayed during this adventure.
Find out more about planning a trip to the region: Puglia Maps and Travel Guide