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One of the people of Molfetta’s favorite places for walks is the harbor. For couples and families, during the week or on holidays, this area is always bustling with voices and people. It is not unusual to meet distinct elderlies who gaze at the horizon while sitting on one of the harbor’s benches. Maybe they are old sea wolves, immersed in their memories of storms and nets lowered into the water before retrieving them full of fish.
Here, one is blessed with sunsets that color the limestone walls of the city and the eighteenth century buildings of orange. One of the many bars with outdoor tables, where one can enjoy a few minutes of total relaxation, is ideal for a coffee. In the past, as today, this place is full of important economical activities. Shipbuilding, fishing and selling fish are some of the most important components of the economy of Molfetta.
The Shipbuildings work to make iron vessels, to restore antique boats and to design interior furnishings while also handling the traditional production of wood. Take a look at the spiaggia della Maddalena (beach of Maddalena): carpenters will be happy to let you look at their work while telling you great stories.
While walking along the Banchina Seminario  (Seminar Quay) and coasting the boots moored to the large bollards, one can see the Lighthouse. It is one of the oldest ones on the Adriatic coast: a big white tower that guides sailors into the harbor with its flashing light.
The stories of those who sailed through the waves of the sea at night describe it as a source of hope. The fishing activities of the last century could even last for weeks and finding a way home was an event that filled heart with joy and serenity.
If you have a chance to do so, go up the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse to admire a unique scenery that almost embraces the entire city. We then continue towards the Banchina San Domenico (Quay of San Domenico) while passing in front of the Fish Market. It’s a big building that was built in 1929 with an austere and regular facade.
This is only in appearance because it is animated by the fish auctions every night. Screams of offers can be heard through the big rooms in a language of unknown words for those who do not belong to this world full of fresh fish crates.
There are a thousand brilliant colors that come from the counters; colors that will be mixed to others on the tables of the local restaurants as delicious dishes are served.
After the market, there is a staircase on the right. Go up the stairs and you’ll be in front of the Chiesa di San Domenico (Church of San Domenico) and its Fabbrica (Factory). Inside this last building, there is the Mostra Etnografica Permanente del Mare (Permanent Ethnographic Exhibition of the Sea). When passing through the cloister and descending through a narrow staircase, we will find ourselves immersed in the kingdom of Neptune. The fish nets hang from the walls and some curious devices are placed on the tables. The nautical knots perk out to explain how sea life is not always made of simple things.
At the end of the staircase, you can enter the large ice house of the convent, but you will initially see a workshop, a shipyard.
Saws, hammers, planks, hemps and tar are arranged on the tables and walls to show how much work is required to build a wooden boat.
This is the life of the seafarers of Molfetta along with the sea books and documents that accompany them on their journeys.
We come out from the depths of these special abysses feeling somewhat different because we are now at least able to understand what that elderly’s glance was directed: maybe Sicily, Albany or even Libya! Let’s get back on the road. Cooking smells, scents of crackling wood in the ovens, spices and good wine can be perceived through the air. At this point, whether you choose to go left or right, you only have to choose which way to go because you can taste the fish we’ve only told you about thus far in one of the many restaurants on the harbor or neighboring streets.
And not only! By going back along via San Domenico (San Domenico Street) towards Corso Dante (Corso Dante street), you can enter the lively Piazza Minuto Pesce (Minuto Pesce Square). Found inside the ancient cloister of the Church of Saint Francis, which was demolished at the end of the nineteenth century, it is dedicated to the sale of retail fish.The colors of the sea are well represented by a variety of blue fish, useful for making the calzone, scented seafood, from the red to bright orange crustaceans to small fish for frying dishes or for the tasty soup known as ciambotte.
5
cultural itinerary


LIGHTHOUSE
FISH MARKET
SHIPYARDS
MUSEUM OF THE SEA
FABBRICA DI SAN DOMENICO
THE SEA TURTLE RECOVERY CENTER






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How to arrive
> ''Karol Woityla'' International Airport Bari – Palese
> The main motorway connections A/14 - A/16
> The National Rail System offers you connections from all over Italy

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