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Barletta is a city, comune and capoluogo together with Andria and Trani of Apulia, in south eastern Italy. Barletta is also a provincia (Barletta-Andria-Trani) and its population is around 94.700 citizens.The city's territory belongs to the Valle dell'Ofanto, indeed, the Ofanto river crosses the countryside and forms the border between the territory of Barletta and that of Margherita di Savoia. The mouth of the river is in the territory of Barletta.The area of Barletta also includes part of the battlefield of Cannae. This is a very important archeological site, remembered for the major battle in 216 B.C. between the Romans and the Carthaginians, won by Hannibal. The site has been recognisied as Città d'Arte (city of art) of Apulia in the 2005 for the beautiful architecture. Cannae flourished in the Roman period and then after a series of debilitating Saracen attacks, was finally destroyed by the Normans and then abandoned in the early Middle Ages.Barletta is famous for the Colossus of Barletta, a bronze statue, representing a Roman Emperor (perhaps Theodosius II). This statue, called "Eraclio" by the inhabitants of Barletta, is about 4m tall, and remains the biggest statue that survives from the late Roman Empire (i.e. the Roman Empire after Constantine). According to a local folk story, Eraclio saved the city from a Saracen attack. Seeing the Saracen ships approaching Barletta's coast, Eraclio waited for them on the sea shore. Here Eraclio acted as if he was crying so the Saracens asked him why he was sad and Eraclio answered that he was sad because he was the smallest among Barletta's inhabitants and so everybody made fun of him. The Saracens thought that Barletta's inhabitants were all giants so left the coast, fearing to face them.Plan your tour of Barletta and Italy travel itinerary using our Italy driving holiday site.
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