The bargain comes with strings attached, however
At the beginning of the XVI century, during the second Italian war involving France and Spain, Barletta was the scene of many important historical events, such as the famous Challenge of Barletta. The conflict between Italian and French knights, which took place following provocations from the French side, took place on February 13, 1503 and ended with an Italian victory. The city became a stronghold of the Spanish, who enlarged the walls and the castle. In 1528, already torn by internal divisions, Barletta was devastated by the French, who perpetrated lootings and burnings that destroyed churches and conventual buildings. From that moment Barletta's decline began. In 1656 the plague hit the city and the number of its inhabitants was reduced to some twenty thousand.
Signs of rebirth occurred only at the end of the 18th century, during the reigns of Bonaparte and Murat.
The XX century began with peasant struggles and strikes. On May 24, 1915 Barletta was hit by an Austrian ship, which destroyed the northern front of the castle, the maritime railway and some houses near the Cathedral. The city did not suffer further blows thanks to the intervention of the destroyer Turbine.
During the Second World War, on 8 September 1943 and in the following days, the city was the scene of several conflicts with the Resistance.
The sixties for Barletta constituted a flourishing period of economic recovery, with the establishment of new industries, the construction of new school complexes, the inauguration of the Canne museum and the completion of the City Palace.
Barletta is an Italian municipality of 94 344 inhabitants (30 June 2019), the capital of the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani in Puglia together with Andria and Trani. The territory of Barletta has about 13.5 km of coast and overlooks the Adriatic sea.
Barletta's economy is mainly linked to agricultural and industrial production. The most common crops are those deriving from vineyards and olive groves. There is a large presence of companies in the textile, clothing and footwear sector, which in the last forty years have led to the formation of an extensive production district on a provincial scale.
The Castle of Barletta
Construction of the Castle of Barletta began in 1532, at the behest of the Spanish king Charles V. In 1867 the Castle was purchased by the Municipality of Barletta, later becoming an arms depot and a prison.
In 1973 it entered a long period of restoration that was finally completed in 1988. In 2001 redevelopment works were carried out, which lasted about a year. Today the Castle is home to the municipal library, the civic museum and art gallery and the lapidarium.