Capping a low ridge amid fields of sunflowers, the little burg of Troia (founded in 1017) offers little more than quiet streets but one heck of a Cathedral , built in 1093 in a graceful weave of architectural styles. The Romanesque facade sports blind arcades and recessed lozenges in the Pisan fashion, but above Byzantine lions and bulls jut out like proud gargoyles. The enormous rose window is a wheel of stubby columns filled in with lacy stonework in a distinctly Arab decorative style. The bronze doors on the front and side were cast between 1119 and 1127 by Oderisius of Benevento, and the simple interior conserves a 12th-century pulpit carved with reliefs.

I like wandering Troia in the late afternoon, where the town's men gather in their political party's local headquarters—spaced evenly along the town's main drag—to play cards and socialize.

Tips & links

How to get to Troia
  • By Car: Troia is 18km (11 miles) south of Lucera on the SS160 and 22km (13 miles) southwest of Foggia on the SS546.
  • By bus: Ferrovia del Gargano buses make 30–40 runs daily from both Lucera (30 min.) and Foggia (40 min.

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