Trani was founded by a legend by Tyrrhenian, the son of the Greek god Diomede; but the first historical traces are dated to the III century A.D. The Golden Age of the city was certainly in the Middle Ages, when the Archbishop's seat was moved here from Canosa and the port became one of the departure points for the Crusades to the Holy Land. After a difficult period with the Anjou, Trani became an important commercial port under the Aragon domination. Under the Spanish rules the trading and political importance of the city expanded in all Southern Italy and Trani was proclaimed main city of its region. Important title that, at the times of Murat, went in favour of Bari.
The city's visit cannot start anywhere else but from the Hohenstaufen Castle, built by Federico II on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, in a strategic defense location over the port and at short distance from the Cathedral. The castle has a square plan, a large central courtyard and four square shape corner fortified towers.
The Cathedral entitled to San Nicola Pellegrino, is the main monument of Trani. The Cathedral, started in 1099, year when this young Greek assassinated at Trani was canonized by Urban II, was completed in 1143 and built in a typical Apulian-Romanesque style. It presents a Latin Cross divided into a nave and two aisles with a series of aligned columns,; the nave proposes a gallery with fourteen three pointed arches. The transept is supported by wooden beams whilst the aisles feature groined vaults. The facade features few openings: only the rose window, one arched window and three large windows. The bronze doors are of Barisano da Trani, the same artist of those of the Cathedrals of Monreale and Ravello.
Worth a mention: Palazzo Torres, built in XVI century by Martino Torres, Palazzo Lambert (1420), the Palazzo Arcivescovile, the Palazzo Caccetta (1456), Casa De Agnete (1283), Palazzo Antonacci Telesio (1761).
The Monastery of Colonna, built between XI and XII century by Lord Goffredo Siniscalco. The facade features typical elements of the Romanesque style and inside preserves a wonderful wooden Cross of XV century, slightly damaged during the Saracen raids and a precious altar offered by the Grand Duke of Tuscany in exchange for part of the relics of Santo Stefano, venerated here since 1684.