According to the studies of G. Volpe, the ancient name of Barletta was “Bardulos”, a name which is mentioned in the “Tabula Peuntigeriana” (4th century AD) and also in the “Itinerary of Antoninus” (“Itinerarium Antonini”, 6th  century AD).

Barletta was presumably originally a "Vicus" ("village"), dating back to the fourth or third century BC. The ancient city had a port function, because it was located at the mouth of the river Ofanto [1].

'Modern' Barletta

The current town at Barletta formed around the church in the 10th century AD. In Norman times Barletta became an important commercial and fortified centre., and the city had a strategic role in the control of the territory and was an important religious centre.

The heyday of the town was between the 14th and 15th century under the rule of the Angevins and Aragonese.

Between the 17th and 18th century however the city had a remarkable period of crisis, from which it recovered only in the Napoleonic age, in the second half of the 18th century.

Today the town is an important Center for the wine, fruit and vegetable trade, and the tourism sector related to the important artistic heritage which Barletta enjoys.

Origins of the name Barletta

As regards the etymology, it is now accepted that the Latin name "Bardulos" has its roots in the term "[...] 'bard-' (meaning 'mud') [2].

The hypothesis is confirmed by other studies: in fact, it seems that "Bard-", meaning "mud", is a term of Mediterranean origin [3].

See also the Barletta travel guide and visitor information.


1. See G. Volpe, “La Daunia nell’Età della Romanizzazione, Edipuglia, 1990: 95-96

2. See, “Archivio per l’Alto Adige”, Istituto di studi per l’Alto Adige, 1962:  95

3. See “Studi Etruschi”, Vol. 34, 1966, p. 441