Conversano (Google Maps) is about 30 km from Bari and is surrounded by countryside and karst plateaus. City of art, its history is linked to the figure of Giangirolamo II Acquaviva of Aragon, the “Guercio delle Puglie”. The marvelous view from Largo di Corte, the highest point of the city with its 219 meters above sea level, embraces the whole surrounding landscape. The remains of the megalithic walls encircle the fascinating historic center, full of interesting monuments.
The Castle, of Norman origin, currently houses the 10 paintings depicting the pictorial cycle of the “Jerusalem Delivered” by the great seventeenth-century painter Paolo Finoglio, two sections on the second floor dedicated to the city bands and period costumes, a conference hall and a space dedicated to contemporary exhibitions. Together with the Archaeological Museum in the former Monastery of San Benedetto, the Castle is part of the Museco Museum Complex.
Of great importance is the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian (XVII century) built by Count Giangirolamo II Acquaviva d’Aragona and his wife Isabella Filomarino, which became the site of the second sanctuary in Italy for the cult of Saint Rita twinned with that of Cascia. Outside the town, there is the marvelous Castello Marchione, once an extra-urban hunting lodge of the noble Acquaviva of Aragon.
Moreover in Conversano you can see an interesting phenomenon that of the “Lakes”, currently S.I.C. and Regional Nature Reserve, or 10 karst depressions that thanks to the rains turn into small lakes populated by reptiles and amphibians like the emerald toad and where it is possible to find the Zerynthia Cassandra, a splendid butterfly protected at community level.