Apulia (Bari) - Southern Regions

"Apulia (Bari) - Southern Regions" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

The name Apulia was given to the region by Romans in times when it made a part of the Roman empire.

Area: 19 360 sq.km (7468 sq.miles) (6.4%), population 4 090 000 inhabitants (7.1%), density 210 inhab./sq.km.

From the very beginning of its history this region was a favourable place for human settlements inhabited already in the Palaeolithic ages. The Greeks were the first who arranged the territory according to their needs, they gave the impulse to the commerce and developed agriculture with the introduction of new cultivable plants and new techniques.

Being a part of the Roman empire Apulia was the second by importance region of it and as a consequence entered in the phase of maximum progress: foundation of Brindisi, Bari, Taranto; construction of such roads as via Appia and via Traiana. Through the port of Brindisi went all the traffic between Italy and Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, Macedony, Siria and etc.

With the fall of the Roman empire Apulia the period of a long decline caused by Barbarian invasions, rebellions, Lombard-Byzantine war and pirate rides on the coasts began.

Only with the Norman domination the region could return to its previous prosperous life being the bridge between the Europe and the East: commerce, migration, pilgrimage all went through Apulia. With the government of the Swabian king Frederick II and regional organization brought by him Apulia became one of the most economically blooming Italian regions. The Spanish domination in XV-XVI centuries stopped this economical progress and brought a serious crisis in all the spheres of activity.

After being annexed to the Italian state the regional economics was improved and developed with the creation of the road network; reclaim of numerous land pieces especially those close to the seas; construction of railways; partial solution of water deficit with the discovering of some underground water deposits and building of irrigation systems. After the WWII the territory of Apulia was industrialized; Tecnopolis the center specialized in informatics and telematics; new administration center in Bari; new city-market in Casamassima located several kilometers away from Bari.



Man and Territory Economy and Resources

Archeology and Art


Settlements of the overseas peoples; Greek colonies in VII century. Taranto became the most important Greek colony. Megalithic monuments (menhir) and tombs. rests of the Greek settlements.
Roman Epoch
(from II century b.C.)
Conquest of the region by Romans which continued for more than a century because of continuous rebellions. Construction of principal roads Via Appia, Via Traiana; increase of agricultural production, enforcement of ports (Brindisi in particular). Monumental constructions in the principal cities: Roman columns in Brindisi.
Middle Ages
(V - XV centuries)
The collapse of the Roman empire brought invasions of Barbarian peoples, domination of Goths, Lombards, Byzantines, Saracens. In XI here came the Normans and later Swabians. Economic and civic decline from the 5th till the 10th century. Return to marine activity under the Norman domination; new agricultural and commercial prosperity. Architecture influenced by Lombardian and Byzantine cultures, Romanic style in cathedrals of Bari, Trani, Ruvo di Puglia; fortified Castel del Monte.
(XV - XVI centuries)
Angevin domination succeeded by the Aragons who moved the capital from Bari to Naples; the region is attacked by Turks and Venetians. Abandon of the land with the consequent turn into a swamp of the seacoast parts ill with the malaria. Blooming baroque style in architecture of Lecce.

Modern Epoch (XVII-XVIII)

The Aragon domination is succeeded by the Napoleonic France. Reforms in agriculture and civic administration. Construction of the cathedral in Lecce.

XIX - XX centuries

In 1861 the region is annexed to the Italian state. Further improvements of all the living systems, construction of the new communication ways; industrialization of Brindisi, Taranto after the WWII. .

Apulia (Bari) Map:

Apulia (Bari) Map


Apulia borders on Molise (north), Campania and Basilicata (west), the Adriatic sea (east) and the Ionian sea (south-west).


The climate in Apulia is typically Mediterranean: hot and dry. The precipitation is scarce and take place only in the period between October and March and the summer droughts are frequent.

January: 9.1 C
July: 24.8 C


The nature rich of the plain zones with the mild Mediterranean climate made Apulia one of the most prosperous seats of agriculture in Italy. This is the only region in Italy which doesn't have the mountain chains (except little areas on the north-western frontier with Molise and Campania and area around Gargano) covering all the rest of the country; so the landscape in the whole of the region is the same. The sea costs are low nearly everywhere with the exception of those in Gargano and Salento. There are two gulfs: of Manfredonia and of Taranto. The region includes also two island groups: the islands of Tremiti (to the north of Gargano) and the islands of Cheradi (in the Great Sea of Taranto. The rivers are only few: Carapelle, Candelaro, Cervaro, Fortore, Ofanto. In the northern part of Gargano there are two lakes: Lesina and Varano communicating with the sea by means of the straight channels. The caves of Castellana close to Bari are unique by their beauty and character.

plain: 53%
hill: 45%
mountain: 2%


The region is well supplied with the roads, highways and railways connecting nearly all the parts of the region with the center and north of Italy. There are two big enough airports in Bari and Brindisi; and two main ports are located in Taranto and Brindisi.

Total: 6 500 000
Italians: 91%
Foreigners: 9%

Agriculture and breeding.

Before 1906-1939 the years when was built the hydro artificial network for irrigation of land, the agriculture of region suffered from the lack of natural water resources. This respectively new construction is called the Aqueduct of Apulia and it is 1 600 km long. Later were built other water channels and aqueducts. The agriculture of Apulia is one of the most prosperous and perspective in the south of Italy.

agriculture: 13%
industry: 25%
commerce, tourism: 62%


The industrialization in the region took place only recently but from the very beginning it brought very good results. The capital for its development came from the state program of assistance to the southern regions and from the private hands. There are two principal industrial areas: Taranto-Brindisi with its heavy industry (iron metallurgy and petrol-chemical production) and Bari with its medium and little businesses (food, construction, publishing, etc.) There are also excavation industries specialized in stone and salt-pan extraction. several decades ago was began the industrialization of the provinces of Foggia and Lecce. The other principal activities are commerce and tourism (Castellana caves, beaches of Gargano, islands of Tremiti).

Italy: 44 000 000 kWh
Apulia: 3 000 kWh
Italy: 128 000 000 kWh
Apulia: 10 000 000 kWh


Notwithstanding the continuous emigration the density of the population is quite high. The reason is a high level of the birth-rate. The other characteristics is concentration of the population in the country centers of big dimensions. Starting from the 1991 the region had to face the new phenomenon of immigration of Albanians which in the war period in Jugoslavia reached a huge number of emigrants from Kosovo and Albania. This touched mostly the province of Brindisi.

Births (per 1000)
Italy: 9.9
Apulia: 12.9
Deaths (per 1000)
Italy: 9.3
Apulia: 7.3
Italy: 0.6
Apulia: 5.6


The life in Apulia could be characterized by the typical aspects of the southern Italy: strong traditionalism, good cuisine, participation in the popular holiday celebrations. But this is one of the southern regions where the spirit of enterprise and commerce was presented since the beginning of the regional history. Due to it the product per inhabitant here is bigger than an average south Italian rate , but still much smaller than an average Italian rate. The cost of life in Bari increased during the 80's of this century, but all the rest of Apulia was not involved in this process. The number of read newspapers and magazines, of TV, cars and other means of modern commodities is much smaller than an average Italian statistics show. The number of reported crimes is bigger than an average number of crimes in Italy.

Inhabitants per car
Italy: 2.4
Apulia: 2.3
Expenses for sport/recreation
(liras per inhabitant)
Italy: 48 500
Apulia: 25 500

Provinces and communes.

The region is divided into five provinces: Bari, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce and Taranto with 258 communes.

Monthly income per inhabitant: 970 000 It.Liras(485 US Dollars)

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