Bitetto, Historical Parade

Bitetto AD 1487 Corteo Storico
Bitetto AD 1487 Historical Parade
Bitetto, Bari (Apulia region)

a reenactment of characters and events connected to the local history of a charming Italian territory and town, artistically blending historical accuracy and poetic freedom through amazing tableaux vivants revealing the art and history of Medieval and Early Renaissance in beautiful Apulia region...

Geographical, cultural and historical context

The event takes place in Bitetto, a town located between the karst plateau of the Murge and the Adriatic Sea, about 15 km from Bari, in Apulia region of south-eastern Italy. Bitetto, once an ancient Greek colony with the name of Hetium, and later from the 9th to the 19th century a bishopric see, is today a renowned production centre of cereals, almonds, grapes and oil. Besides the medieval old town with the well-kept towers and walls, other remarkable sights are the 14th century cathedral, one of the main examples of Apulian Romanesque architecture, and the Convent keeping the relics of the Blessed Giacomo (1400-1490 AD, born Jakov Varingez in Zadar, Croatia), a francescan monk from the Order of Friars Minor, a mendicant Catholic religious order, founded in 1209 by St Francis of Assisi (1181/1182-1226 AD). The territory has been inhabited since the 4th century BC as witnessed by several archaeological findings, while during the Middle Ages with the rise of the Angevins, a dynasty that ruled southern Italy from Naples beginning in the thirteenth century, Bitetto became one of the wealthiest cities of Apulia also enriched by fine architectures.


Event description and programme

Every year on May 1st takes place the great "Thanksgiving historical parade” to reenact the visit in year 1487 of Andrea Matteo Acquaviva (1456-1528, an Italian nobleman and condottiero from the Kingdom of Naples), 8th Duke of Atri and Lord of Bitetto, with his family and his court to the Blessed James. The Friar foretold the Duke that would have been spared his life by the Regent. The Duke, in fact, had participated in the Conspiracy of the Barons a revolution by the Neapolitan aristocracy in 1485 and 1486 against Ferdinand the First (1423-1494 AD, also called Ferrante of Aragon), the King of Naples from 1458 to 1494. Ferrante was the son of King Alfonso V of Aragon (1396-1458 AD), one of the most prominent figures of the early Renaissance, and his mistress, Giraldona Carlino. The local nobility reacted to the royal policies of modernisation of the country aimed at dispelling the feudal particularism and strengthening the royal power.

The Duke of Atri sided with the barons but was defeated by the royalist army and had taken refuge in a convent. There he met James who predicted him the pardon of the King, unlike the other conspirators destined to the beheading. The Friar predicted the birth of a male heir as well. Both predictions came true and the Duke returned to Bitetto with his family and the court to thank James, and, as a sign of devotion let built, in a night only, the straight road that still now connects the Franciscan Convent to the town. The historical parade commemorates the meeting between the Duke and the Friar. The town of Bitetto reenacts the event through a special theatre play which beautifully blends arts, architectures, historical and legendary sources, while featuring hundreds of historical characters involved in several tableux vivants about striking and allegoric episodes and stories of the medieval and early renaissance times.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Event page on Facebook:

Pro Loco "Juvenilia Vitetum" Tourism Association
Address: Piazza Posta, box mercatale n.5 - 70020 Bitetto (Bari), Italy
Tel.: +39 080 3212195 | Mob.: +39 345.2279718

Bitetto Town Council / Comune di Bitetto
Address: Piazza Moro - 70020 Bitetto (Bari), Italy
Tel.: +39 080 3829212 | Fax: +39 080 9921559

Image: Pro Loco "Juvenilia Vitetum"
Text: Pro Loco "Juvenilia Vitetum, Bitetto Town Council, Wikipedia

Bitetto on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:




Exploring Bitetto:




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