Sometimes extraordinary events can make a little site a place destined to remain impressed in the collective memory. This is the case of the little hill of Canne in the area of Barletta that took the name of Canne della Battaglia after the struggle between the Romans and the Carthaginias (216 B.C), led by the mythical hero Hannibal. Canne, the natural theathre of this bloody battle, overlooks the whole horizon , as far as the Gargano. Its Antiquary contains findings from civilisations ranging from the 6th millennium B.C to the 13th century. Let’s stop now in the area of the San Mercurio Excavations where it is possible to visit the remains of an imposing Roman Domus dating back to the Imperial Age. Then let’s visit the Menhir referring to the myth of Diomede. According to the legend this homeric hero founded Canosa.
The artistic heritage of this city consists in aristocratic Hypogea, extraordinary ceramic findings dating back to the Daunians, Roman ruins, mosaics and Basilicas. Canosa is linked to Canne by the Barletta/Spinazzola Railway running through the most striking archaeological treasures in Apulia, as a sort of travelling museum .Still intact, along the Trajan’s Way in the Canosa area stand monuments dating back to the Imperial Age such as The Arco Onorario, the necropolis of Ponte della Lama and The Ofanto Bridge, an important link for the Transhumance crossed by one of the most ancient sheep-track in this area. Before getting again on our train we do not have to miss the archaeological area of San Pietro, uncovered after excavations lasted 5 years. Tomba Varrese is also very important. Its funeral equipment consisting in polychromic pots, golden pottery, alabaster artifacts and a magnificent anatomically designed bronze cuirass, is preserved in the 19th-century Sinisi Palace.
Leaving Canosa our journey continues through a landscape of olive trees and vineyards down to the Murgian step on which the picturesque Minervino stands. In this place where every stone can be considered a monument and the air is fragrant with the scent of the pastures the traveller can stop off in one of the many trattorie and then leave again in the direction of Spinazzola. But before leaving let’s visit the Archaeological museum and its permanent exhibition “The once amber Ofanto river”.
One of the richest and most precious section of this museum boasts the funeral equipment of a daunian warrior dating back to the end of the 4th cent. B.C. and the reconstruction on a scale of his grave.
The Archaeology Train leaves now in the direction of Spinazzola: the birthplace of the Roman Church Pope: Innocent XII. This city was founded in the 3rd cent. next to the Roman Statio “ad Oinum” along the Appian Way , and shared much of his story with the neighbouring cities. According to the history Manfredi , the son of Frederick II went to Spinazzola in order to present Helen of Epirus with the wedding dress