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20 May 2021


The ways of taste, between Tradition and Innovation


Sammichele di Bari stretches over a flat area inland from Bari.


The present town was founded by the Portuguese merchant Michele Vaaz in 1615, while in 1619 it was repopulated by families from neighbouring towns and renamed Casale San Michele.


The historical centre includes valuable cultural resources, such as the Caracciolo Castle, a 15th-century building purchased in 1609 by Michele Vaaz. In 1667, it changed its appearance from a small medieval fortification to a real farm until it passed to the Caracciolo family of Vietri in 1791, and in 1860 it assumed its Gothic-style elevation.


It currently houses the Museum of Rural Civilisation, founded in 1974 and named after Prof. Dino Bianco. The exhibits take visitors on a journey through time to discover the production cycles of wheat, oil, wine and ancient crafts.


Set in the old part of the historic centre is the Church of the Magdalene built between 1620 and 1632 on the site of a chapel that already existed in 1504. The façade dates back to the end of the 17th century and of value are the wall paintings, the stone high altar with a painted wooden postern, with the Madonna and Child in the centre.


An example of Neoclassical style, the Church Matrice is dedicated to the Madonna del Carmine, and was built between 1844 and 1870. Inside, the vaults are adorned with gilded stucco decorations and the apse features a fresco of the Madonna del Carmine with the four evangelists.

The entrance to the old town is marked by the civic clock, built between 1876 and 1878.


Sammichele is known for the presence of Apotropaic masks made by master stonemasons on local stone, which stand out on the façades of some buildings to ward off evil spirits.


In this town with a strong vocation for food and wine tourism, a great resource among local specialities is the renowned 'zampina', a mixed meat sausage prepared, cooked and tasted in butcher shops, which attract numerous groups of patrons throughout the week.


The 'zampina' is linked to a large Sagra della Zampina, del bocconcino e del Buon Vino (Feast of the Zampina, of the morsel and of Good Wine), held every year on the last Saturday of September. Sammichele is also known for its ancient traditions linked to Carnival, with a cultural phenomenon that finds its roots in popular tradition: the so-called 'festini', dancing evenings with companies of masks, regulated according to an ancient discipline.


Finally, some of the festivals linked to popular tradition are characteristic: the Patronal Feast, which celebrates the apparition of the Archangel Michael on 8 May and is held on the second weekend of May, and the traditional Feast of Saint Roch, which is celebrated on 2 and 3 September and is held on the first weekend of the month.


This feast opens all the festivities of September in Sammichelino and the St Joseph's Bonfire on 19 March with the ritual event of the 'zippo di San Giuseppe' (St Joseph's zippo) with the collection of sweets and gifts to be offered to the saint and burnt in bonfires.


Place to visit: old town centre, Caracciolo Castle, Clock Arch, Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, Church of the Maddalena, 'Dino Bianco' Museum of Rural Civilisation.



Photo: Beppe Gasparro / Gaetano Armenio / Text: Iris. Soc. Coop.

Municipality of Sammichele di Bari

T +39 080 891 7368


Municipal Police
T + 39 080 891 7368


Tourist Infopoint

Via Principessa Mafalda

T +39 080 472 2030



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