We take you to Apulia to discover Conversano, a city of art and a tourist destination to explore that will surprise you!
Conversano is a splendid village with a lot of history, culture and natural beauty that rises about 200 meters above sea level on the hills in the southern Murge, in Apulia, in the metropolitan city of Bari.
The strategic position of Conversano makes it a tourist destination of great interest, attracting visitors looking for historic villages and nature excursions, anyway without giving up on the possibility of taking a look at the wonderful Apulian coast and visiting the close seaside towns or enjoying a day on the some of the most envied beaches in the world.
If you want to find out what to see in Conversano, keep on reading!
What to see in Conversano: historic center, arts and natural beauty
The town of Conversano offers tourists the opportunity to discover fascinating places and stories by proposing a profound empowerment of the value of the territory and the landscape.
The beauty of the city, the ancient Norba for the Iapigi and Peuceti peoples who inhabited this region in ancient times, is in fact clear in the amazing Apulian natural setting and the splendid local medieval and renaissance architecture. Indeed, the historic center of Conversano is one of the most beautiful in Apulia.
Here is our guide on places to visit and what to see in Conversano!
What to see in the historic center of Conversano: the Castle Acquaviva of Aragona
The Castle is one of the main symbols of Conversano and also represents the top of the historic center and of the cultural events in the city.
Built in limestone by the Normans firstly as a defensive fortress with a classic trapezoidal shape, on the remains of the ancient megalithic walls, next thanks to the Acquaviva of Aragona family it was transformed into a real elegant home.
Today, the two main towers recently constructed, one cylindrical and one polygonal, can be seen from the outside above all. The inside is open from the entrance on Piazza della Conciliazione, staring with amazement at the enchanting baroque environments like the portico and the loggia.
Very interesting for tourists is the Paolo Finoglio Art Gallery, which you can visit in the inside rooms of the Castle: an exhibition space where many works by the Neapolitan artist are kept, in particular the large canvases dedicated to the episodes of Gerusalemme Liberata. Other works by the author can be viewed at the Diocesan Art Gallery in the church of Santa Chiara.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
The Cathedral of Conversano was made in the medieval age and today it is the seat of the diocese of Conversano-Monopoli, in Apulia.
This beautiful religious structure in Apulian Romanesque style is located not far from the Castle, in Largo Cattedrale, and you absolutely can't miss this destination when visiting the historic center of the town.
From the outside it is possible to recognize right away the classic fifteenth-century rose window made up of twelve rays. The inside is made up of three naves with galleries and it is possible to admire with amazement a few precious artistic beauties, such as the fresco of the Pisan school which decorates the entire left apse, a wooden crucifix from the late Middle Ages and above all a suggestive painted icon of the Madonna della Fonte, probably from the Middle Age.
The natural reserve of the lakes of Conversano
Conversano is known in the area for the presence of karstic lakes, small freshwater natural ponds, very important for the local ecosystem and the wellness of the fauna. Indeed, here it is possible to come across small amphibians and reptiles, some mammals such as foxes and in particular many species of migratory birds, especially flamingos.
The Conversano natural reserve represents a bucolic space of well-being for tourists as well, who can immerse deeply here in the Apulian nature while staring with amazement at its beauty and diversity. There are six lakes: Sassano, Castiglione, di Chienna, Agnano, Iavorra and San Vito.
Other places of interest to visit in Conversano
Detail of the gate of the Monastery of San Benedetto
If you are looking for other interesting places to discover in Conversano, here are our ideas!
Castello di Marchione: an eighteenth-century hunting estate built in the woods just outside the city, inside was saved the painting of Giangirolamo II Acquaviva of Aragona by Finoglio.
Torre Castiglione: an ancient medieval fortification in the rural area of Conversano which dominates the top of a hill about 260 meters above sea level, near the lake.
Monastery of San Benedetto: an ancient convent complex dedicated to the saint of Norcia and home to the civic archaeological museum, where many finds from Norba and the Norman era are saved.
Convento of Paolotti: a convent complex built in the 17th century which houses the diocesan library of the episcopal seminary and the diocesan archive, with a collection of medieval manuscripts, printed books from the 16th to the 19th century and thousands of minerals.
Villa Garibaldi: a splendid Italian garden full of trees, avenues, fountains and monumental works that celebrates the 19th century history and culture of the Bel Paese.
Festival of Ferrovia Cherry in Conversano
June is a very special month in Conversano, not only because the warm season approaches but first of all for the Ferrovia Cherry festival.
This special quality of cherry is the real 'red gold' of Apulia and is appreciated by everyone, all over the world. Why is it called Ferrovia? According to the lore, the first tree to bear these wonderful and sweet fruits was born from a seed a few steps away from a railway section; the plant was renamed Ferrovì and from this name comes the denomination of this important fruit.
The cherry festival represents the perfect opportunity to visit Conversano in the most beautiful season of the year, falling in love with the colors of this territory and its flavors.
Food, wine and music at Novello sotto il Castello
The Novello sotto il Castello event has long been an important milestone in the November calendar in Conversano, a festival which recalls back the historic celebrations of San Martino and enhances the grape harvest, a very important production activity in the area.
But it is not a simple village festival. In fact, Novello sotto il Castello represents a suggestive meeting point between the past, the present and the future of this land where it is possible to visit the historic center and its interesting places, taste excellent wine and local specialties and have fun dancing to the beat of the electronic music.
Exploring the nature in Conversano
Before getting back home from your trip to Conversano, you absolutely must not miss the opportunity to explore the natural areas near the city.
The vast natural reserve of karstic lakes, in fact, is the perfect habitat for many species of flora, such as lentisco and holm oak, and fauna, among which some birds and insects stand out.
One of the most suggestive experiences to do in the area is butterfly watching, by studying on the field the 120 species of butterflies in Apulia during a walk in the living nature of this magnificent region. Local associations take care of the protection and enhancement of the local natural territory, preparing hiking and butterfly-watching sessions, especially in spring. If you love sustainable tourism, Conversano is the right destination for you!