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Sant'Agata di Puglia, Province of Foggia, Puglia

sant-agata-di-puglia coatofarms The history of the place is closely connected to its castle, built in a strategic, domineering position in the Calaggio valley, along the border with Irpinia, Lucania and Daunia, and at the exits of the mountain passes leading from Campania to Apulia. The center, whose economy was mostly based on sheep rearing, experienced a massive emigration in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Info

  • Altitude: 452 mt a.s.l
  • Population: about 2000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 71028
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0881
  • Patron Saint: St. Agata, celebrated on 5 February and San Rocco on 16 august.

History

In Roman times the Castrum was called Artemisium, and the name was changed in 592 when Pope Gregorius Magnus ordered the remains of St. Agatha to be moved to Rome. In medieval times the castle was at the head of the whole area, and under the Lombards it was a garrison of the Dukedom of Benevento. Oral tradition tells the legend of Captain Agatone, Lord of Sant'Agata, killed by his barber who did not like his lord to exact the "ius primae noctis".

In the 11th century the castle was under the Normans, and Abagelardus tried to organize a rebellion against Duke Robert Giuscard, who in retaliation sieged Sant'Agata in 1079. In 1086 the lord of the castle was Guiscard's son, Roger of Altavilla, and in 1133 the Norman king Roger II took it under his rule. In the 15th century the parish church was built and the castle was transformed into a stately dwelling.

What to see

  • The Cathedral of Sant'Agata, built in the early 17th century, with a baroque facade.
  • The Castle, situated at nearly 800 meters, already recorded in Norman times, had military functions for many centuries, then in the 15th century was changed into a residence. It is possible to see today the outer fortification walls, while the inside quarters were restored many times.

Events and Festivities

  • 3 to 5 February: distribution of loaves of bread in honor of St. Blaise and St. Agatha.
  • 18 August: a historical re-enactement
  • 24 December: the Christmas Eve procession with thousands of torches.
  • 27 to 29 December: Capodanze, a national festival of folk dances and music.
  • 30 December: Festival of the Pizza Fritta.

Where to stay