Canne della Battaglia is one of the most important archaeological sites in Apulia not far from the municipalities of Barletta, Canosa di Puglia and Andria. It rises on the right bank of Aufidus river where the ancient city of Cannae was settled centuries ago. The name is taken from the popular Battle of Cannae in the 216 BC, one of the most famous of the Second Punic War.
The city of Canne has ancient origins. The area was very popular since V-VI Millennium BC. as evidenced by some tools found in the area. The Roman city was built between the sixth and the fourth century BC as a simple village and here in 216 BC the famous battle of Canne took place which marked a hard defeat for the Romans at the hands of Hannibal's army, which although inferior numerically managed to get the better of a tactical expedient known as a pincer maneuver.
With the fall of the Western Roman Empire also for Canne began a period of decline. It was destroyed by the Ostrogote troops of Totila and after a slow recovery the city flourished in the shadow of Canosa until the Saracens destroyed it in 872. The city was the scene of many important battles and had its period of maximum flowering under the Byzantine domination until 1083 when passed under the rule of the Normans was again destroyed and could not recover.
The archaeological park of Canne
The archaeological site offers the visitor a very rich path that goes from Roman ruins to medieval finds. In fact, the itinerary in the archaeological park starts with the antiquarium through which you will go back to the whole story of the city, between Prehistory and Middle Ages. To the five chronological sections that you'll find in the Museum, there's one more to add, the 6th section telling about Hannibal presence in Italy all over the second Punic War. Pasr the museum you'll go up to the Medieval city where different layers of of the remains from different ages can be seen just by walking around.
Aragon castle walls follow decumanus. To each sides there are many kinds of building as the cyclopic stone blocks dating from the V century BC and the structures dating back to Middle Ages. Decumanus leads visitors to the area with the Christian basilicas. The smallest one is sorrounded with a large cemetery. Inside the major basilica can be seen two stages of construction. In fact, some relics dating from the IV century and some from Prehistory were found here under the basis of the church. A wide open space is in front of Antiquarium from where it starts a scenic route going up to the zone of the apulian village and sepolcretum.
The village is wide and it was at its height in the period between VI and III centuries BC, according to the findings. It was probably destroyed in the famous Battle of the 216 BC and it was still abandoned for a long time until in the Middle Ages it begun to host a Christian cemetery.
Excavation works taken lately near the rail station of Canne della Battaglia brought back to light the ancient site of the thermal baths of San Mercurio, with a water system and a tank.
Imagine Copyright: By Roberto Ragno - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Open from Wednesday to Sunday: 10.30am to 6.30pm
Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: VI-IV century BC
SUNSET: XI century
CIVILIZATION: Romans, Paleochristians, Middle Ages
PROVINCE: BT (Barletta-Andria-Trani)
REDISCOVERY: XX century
How to get to Canne
Barletta is the nearest station of the Italian railways network. Take regional direct train from Barletta to Canne della Battaglia. It's a ten minutes walk from the station of Canne to the archaeological site.
From Bari: follow trunk road SS16 heading to North-West as far as 75Km
From Andria: follow road SP124 heading to North-West as far as 16Km
From Barletta: heading to South-West as far as 12 Km, follow trunk raod SS93 and then SP142