Trani is an elegant seaside town with a thriving marina and a quaint historic centre. It is on the Adriatic coast in the Puglia region of southern Italy. It is a popular seaside destination for chic Italians who like to promenade along the marina and lunch at the waterfront restaurants.
Trani is a delightful fishing port with a charming marina which attracts a stylish crowd to its waterfront bars and restaurants and to promenade along the harbour front admiring the yachts and fishing boats as well as the elegant seaside buildings and especially the large cathedral dominating the seafront.
Behind the cathedral it also has a picturesque historic old town with medieval buildings and palazzi. Wander through the limestone-paved streets and squares and enjoy the quiet elegance.
The main sights to see in Trani are the cathedral and the castle. It was built in the 12th century and like many of the buildings in Trani is built in the local white limestone. It is Romanesque in style and its main portal also has Moorish influences. To one side of the cathedral is a large square belltower which can be visited for views over the town and Adriatic sea.
The interior of the cathedral is very simple and appealing with some fine Romanesque capitals. The crypt under the cathedral is filled with ancient columns and houses the bones of St Nicholas the Pilgrim for whom the church is dedicated.
Be sure to note the wonderful brass doors that were the main doors but are now displayed inside. Also take a look at the 12th century mosaic floor near the altar.
The other main site iin Trani is the castle which was built by Frederick II in the early 13th century. Castello Svevo also has a waterfront position. It was a prison for many years but is now open for visits and occasional exhibitions.
The Ognissanti church was built in the 12th century by the Knights Templar and is where they swore allegiance to their leader before setting off on crusade. It was the chapel for the Knights Templar hospital.
Trani once had a thriving Jewish population and a Jewish quarter with four synagogues. Two ot these have been destroyed and two converted into churches. One of these, the Scolanova church has a lovely Byzantine painting of Saint Mary. The church has been reconverted into a synagogue in 2006.
The Monastery of Santa Maria Colonna is built in a simple Romanesque style and often hosts jazz and classical concerts in its attractive cloisters or courtyard. Go up to the first floor for wonderful views over the coast and the cathedral.
Garden lovers will enjoy the public gardens at Villa Communale which even have a turtle pond!
There are lots of excellent restaurants and bars near to the marina on the sea front.
Places to Visit Nearby
You can find more local travel ideas in the Puglia guide.