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Andria

Andria is a city and comune in Apulia (southern Italy). It is an agricultural and service center, producing wine, olives and almonds. It is the fourth-largest municipality in the Apulia region (behind Bari, Taranto, and Foggia) and the largest municipality of the new Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, effective as of June 2009. It is known for the 13th-century Castel del Monte.HistoryDifferent theories exist about the origins of Andria. In 915 it is mentioned as a "casale" ("hamlet") depending from Trani; it acquired the status of city around 1046, when the Norman count Peter enlarged and fortified the settlements in the area (including also Barletta, Corato and Bisceglie).In the 14th century, under the Angevins, Andria became seat of a Duchy. In 1350 it was besieged by German and Lombard mercenaries of the Hungarian army, and in 1370 by the troops of Queen Joan I of Naples. In 1431 the ruler of Andria Francesco II Del Balzo found the mortal remains of Saint Richard of Andria, the current patron saint, and instituted the Fair of Andria (23–30 April). In 1487 the city was acquired by the Aragonese, the Duchy passing to the future King Frederick IV of Naples. Later (1552), it was sold by the Spanish to Fabrizio Carafa, for the sum of 100,000 ducats.
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