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Gioia del Colle

(4/5 based on 200+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: museums, nightlife, wineries
Gioia del Colle ( is a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy. The town is located on the Murge plateau at 360m above sea level.HistoryThe earliest evidence of human settlement in the area now known as Gioia del Colle dates back to the 7th century BC. Archaeological excavations have revealed that at that time a Peucetian village was located in the area of Monte Sannace, about 3mi from Gioia).The current town developed around an old Byzantine fortress. The placename, in fact, seems to derive from Joha, short for the surname Joannakis, a Byzantine family living in the area during the Middle Ages. However, there are many theories regarding the origin of this placename. One of the most famous local legends has it that Princess Bianca Lancia irretrievably lost all her jewels there, after being supposedly confined in the Castle of Gioia del Colle during her pregnancy with her son Manfred of Sicily under the suspicion of having been unfaithful to Frederick II.The town grew further in the 12th century, during the time of Norman Count Riccardo Siniscalco d'Altavilla, who built the Castle of Gioia del Colle, which was, then, destroyed by William the Wicked. In the 13th century the fief was under the rule of Frederick II of Swabia, who rebuilt the castle.
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