Originally, in the south of Gargano, where the Tavoliere plain meets the Adriatic Sea, there was a coastal lagoon: The Salpi lake i.e Margherita di Savoia. This area has been inhabited since the Neolithic after the foundation of Salaria, of which only the ruins of the city walls and fragments of objects remain. Many findings such as the ruins of huts typical of the Bronze Age have been discovered in this area and are currently preserved in the Trinitapoli and San Ferdinando museums. Still today, as for the city of Salapia, it is possible to visit the ancient quay, built using large slabs dating back to the 8th century B.C. and the magnificent Villa San Vito, one of the most interesting site from an archaeological and naturalistic point of view.
Along the Ofanto valley stands Trinitapoli that together with Margherita di Savoia is a naturalistic oasis and also a protected area. Here, it is possible to see herons, swamp raptors, and mute swans. The contrast between the wild nature and the lunar landscape is mitigated by the beauty of the pink flamingos nesting on the quay.
The see, however, always offers the most precious treasures. Along the coast towards the south, near Torre Pietra, in the waters in front of the ancient Salaria, called the Daunian Venice, at the bottom of the keel, it is possible to see a Roman wreck, in which a little Neptune statue and many amphorae still in good condition have been found.
These findings and others, such as the daunian funeral stele, probably prove that the Mycenaean sailors came here across the Mediterranean to buy amber and noble metals and settle along the banks. Running along the coast parallel to the Trajan Way it is possible to see Barletta. Many legends link its story to the see but surely the most mysterious one regards the Colossus of Barletta, It is a bronze statue which is 4.50 metres tall and represents an emperor wearing military clothing. The Colossus stands on the left side of the Santo Sepolcro church. Moreover, the capitals of the Cathedral’s ciborium sculptured by artists from Jerusalem, prove the close link between Barletta and the overseas countries during the crusades. The view of the Puglia Imperiale lands from the see is striking! The beauty of Trani, for example, one of the 100 Italian art cities, can leave the visitor breathless. Trani, standing in the middle of the Apulian coast, flourished in the 12th and 13th century because of the trade with the near East and the thousands crusaders leaving from its harbour.
Unique as regards its site, the imposing Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino stands directly beside the sea. The Cathedral was built on the site of the older paleochristian church of S.Maria, where it is possible to admire a magnificent mosaic (6th century) ordered by the bishop Sabino.
The Basilica of S.Andrea in Barletta and the the Basilica of S.Leucio in Canosa boasting polychromic and well-made mosaics were also ordered by the same bishop .Very important is “The peacock “ located behind the Basilica of S.Leucio altar.