Lucera is a small, friendly medieval city that has taken a refreshing interest in its heritage and monuments. The early 14th-century Cathedral, on Piazza Duomo, is a bit plain for Apulia, though it does incorporate a trio of Gothic facade portals and a 15th-century wooden Crucifix inside.

To the Duomo's right, Via de Nicastri leads to the Museo Civico Fiorelli (Via De Nicastri, 74; tel. +39-0881-522-762;, which displays funerary inscriptions, ex votos found at a temple to Athena, ancient coinage, ceramics dating back to 600 BC, a marble Greco-Roman Venus, and 18th-century Neapolitan-style paintings. It's open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 1pm (April to September also 4pm to 7pm). (Adm)

At the west edge of town expands the impressive Castello, a 2970-foot circuit of Anjou walls 46 feet high encircling a grassy field and, tucked into one corner, the much smaller foundations of Frederick II's Swabian castle of 1233. A doorway left of the main entrance lets you wander around the half-collapsed halls of the Swabian fortress.

Out the northeast edge of town lies a 1st-century BC Roman amphitheater, the seats and floor scenically grassy and ringed by a wall of pine and cypress beyond a restored ancient gate. Admission to both castle and amphitheater is free, and both are open Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 1pm and 2 to 8pm.

Where to stay and dine in Lucera

Al Passetto – Set into the side of the town's southern gate, Al Passetto is cheap and homey, but also with a bit of atmosphere in the form of hammered copper pots hanging on the brick walls and arches. The fixed-price menus include everything but wine and coffee (the 40,000L version is seafood, available only on weekends). They have excellent prosciutto, cheese, and grilled vegetables for antipasto, and the menu gets you a bis dei primi, or sampling of two dishes. These could be troccoli with tomatoes and ricotta dura or cavatelli con verdure (homemade pasta boiled then sautéed with peppers, eggplant, and fresh mozzarella). Secondi are rather simpler, featuring grigliata mista di carne (the usual mixed grill of meats) or agnello ai ferri (lamb grilled over an open fire and flavored with rosemary). At dinner they fire up the wood-burning oven and you can choose from a prodigious pizza menu.
Piazza del Popolo 24-27. tel. +39-0881-520-998. Tues-Sun 12:30-2:30pm, 8-11:30pm.

     If Lucera catches your fancy and you want to stay, above the restaurant are simple, comfortable rooms now managed by the modern La Balconata 2 hotel across the square (Viale Ferrovia 15; tel. +39-0881-520-050).

Tips & links

Visitor info

The tourist office
Corso Garibaldi 35
tel. +39-0881-548-626, fax 0881-548-352
employs free guides at the museum, castle, and amphitheater

How to get to Lucera
  • By car: Lucera is 18km (11 miles) from the well-connected provincial capital of Foggia on SS17.
  • By bus: SITA buses from Foggia toward Carlatino or Campobasso make the trip at least hourly (30 min.). There are also 2 SITA buses (none Sunday) from Monte Sant'Angelo to Lucera (2 hr. 20 min.), one requiring a transfer at S. Severo.

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The tourist office
Corso Garibaldi 35
tel. +39-0881-548-626, fax 0881-548-352
employs free guides at the museum, castle, and amphitheater

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