Starting from Bari and continuing with the Cammino Materano you arrive at the characteristic city of Bitetto, a municipality of almost 12,000 inhabitants called the "city of Termite olives", precisely because of the particular quality of the olives that grow in these areas. 

The city of Bitetto has very ancient origins that date back to the very distant 1st millennium BC, when a nomadic population, the Iapigi , settled on the coasts of today's Puglia. Precisely these populations were the first to try their hand at building the very famous dry stone walls that characterize the Apulian countryside.
After having passed under various dominions, with the fall of the Roman Empire, Bitetto passed under Byzantine rule which strongly influenced its art and culture. Unfortunately, in the following years it went through a period of severe crisis, so much so that the entire kingdom was sold at auction to Baron Francesco Noja.
Over the years it has passed under various dominations which also caused numerous internal clashes. But Bitetto's most important period was during the war years, when it actively participated in the Resistance, sacrificing 22 soldiers, but freeing the city from the Germans. 

You might decide to spend a weekend in Bitetto or discover it in passing with one of our tours:

 Walk the Camino Materano in 7 or 9 days

 Cycling holidays in Italy: Unesco tour

⇒ Puglia on Gravel bike: from Bari to Matera

⇒ Discover Matera and the north of Puglia

What to see in Bitetto

We have prepared a list of things not to be missed in Bitetto to peacefully enjoy the beauty of this fascinating village framed by characteristic dry stone walls. Why not decide to dedicate a day discovering the beauties of Bitetto?

  • Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo
  • Church of Santa Maria la Veteran
  • Sedile

And now let's start together to discover the most suggestive places in Bitetto!

Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo

Walking through the streets of the city you will not be able to miss the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo. It is a church dating back to 1335 and represents the Apulian Romanesque style in a very pure way . Externally the three naves are full of sculptures. Among these, two stone lions and a bas-relief depicting the twelve apostles, symbols of the New Testament, stand out. The quadrangular bell tower which stands out on the left side of the church is also fundamental.
The internal style is very simple, characterized by a Latin cross plan and some chapels located on the sides. 

Church of Santa Maria la Veterana

The Church of Santa Maria la Veterana is one of the oldest in the city, so much so that it was presumably built in 959. The church, which dominates the historic center, is very simple, with a bare façade that is divided into three naves alternately punctuated by round and pointed arches. What leaves you amazed, however, is the wonder of the internal frescoes and the very particular wooden sculpture depicting the Madonna which is located next to the altar.


The Sedile di Bitetto is located in front of the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo and was the ancient seat of the city palace. Initially cubic in shape, it was subsequently enriched with an upper floor and a bell tower.
Furthermore, since the Sedile had been a place of trade for years, inside it was possible to find the different units of measurement used by foreign traders. 

What to do in Bitetto: the Slow Active Tours proposal

Once you have discovered the wonders hidden among the streets of Bitetto, the time has come to get to the heart of the sounds and smells of this ancient village. For this reason we have prepared a list of things to do in Bitetto that you absolutely cannot miss! 

  • Museum of the Devotion of Work

    Inside the ancient Franciscan convent of Bitetto it is possible to find a small wonderful museum. This is the Museum of Devotion to Work which shows the traditional arts, works and crafts of the populations of Bitetto and the surrounding areas. In fact, in each of these environments, artifacts of all kinds are preserved, used for the crafts, sewing and sculpture work that make this area so characteristic. In addition to this, it is also possible to find displays of typical clothes and even a nativity scene created by the master Giuseppe Maselli.
    All the testimonies and artifacts preserved inside the museum are a clear and evident example of the devotion that this city has for work and tradition.

  • Walk in the village

    Obviously, one of the most engaging activities that can be done in Bitetto is walking in the village and immersing yourself in the streets and tunnels that run through the city. In this way you have the opportunity to admire the old Romanesque style churches, be amazed by the oldest and most characteristic houses of Bitetto and above all to taste the excellent typical food of the area. 

  • Cammino Materano

    If you are a fan of walking routes you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to try the Cammino Materano, a wonderful journey that will take you to discover the Mediterranean scrub and the heart of Puglia and Basilicata. The path, in fact, unites the cities of Bari and Matera and passes through Bitetto, making this city the second stop on the path 

Festival and Popular Events of Bitetto

Bitetto is a small town full of cultural events and festivals particularly linked to popular tradition. Below you will see listed some of the unmissable festivals of this magical place.
Among the most characteristic festivals of Bitetto we find the Medieval Market , an event that takes place every year on May 1st in the ancient part of the city. During this day, stalls are set up in the streets offering typical medieval activities and the city is cheered up by the presence of jugglers and musicians. You will feel like you have been totally catapulted into another era!
If you are in Bitetto in February you absolutely cannot miss the Popular music event in the ancient village of Bitetto organized by the Pro Loco Juvenilia association. The event aims to promote traditional culture through songs and theatrical performances. A unique opportunity to learn something new while having fun.
Another unmissable experience in Bitetto is the Night of San Giovanni. It is a fascinating event organized on the night between 23 and 24 June, when the ancient village of the city is filled with musicians, storytellers and fortune tellers who make the night particularly magical. 

Typical dishes of Bitetto

The traditional cuisine of Bitetto is similar in tastes and flavors to that of the upper part of Puglia, while retaining characteristics of its own tradition. Bitetto's product par excellence are Termite olives, an indigenous cultivar that grows in this area: they are appreciated for their fragrance and the consistency of the pulp. A simple but very tasty recipe is olive fritte, to be made with excellent quality olives to be fried in extra virgin olive oil; you don't need anything else, but if you want you can add cherry tomatoes, peppers and oregano for a more Mediterranean version. The calzone di cipolla is also part of the culinary tradition of Apulian housewives, whose aroma is reminiscent of grandmother's cooking, or at least the Apulian one! It is a sort of closed focaccia with a rounded shape and folded edge, which can include many variations in the dough and filling, which generally requires sponsali, elongated white spring onions, raisins, pitted olives, cheese, oil and anchovies underneath salt...mouth watering! 

Eating and Drinking in Bitetto

Among the many restaurants in the center of Bitetto, we recommend some that are worth visiting:
Dorotea La Spaghetteria in Andrea Costa street 21/A. The ideal place for pasta lovers! Numerous spaghetti-based dishes, but not only, are served here, always accompanied with different and exquisite condiments that create strong and refined flavors. The traditional appetizers and the wine list are also excellent. You will not regret it!
Lievita Pizza & Sandwich in Giuseppe Garibaldi street 22/24. In the heart of Bitetto you can savor an excellent pizza both for the quality of the dough and for the products that garnish the many varieties present. You will also have the opportunity to choose numerous types of beer. It's perfect for an evening with friends!
Tarallificio Signorile in Antonio De Robertis street 4/A. Unmissable place located a few steps from Bitetto. It is a taralli factory where it is possible to buy handmade taralli. The owner, a very lovely lady, will invite you to come in and taste the flavors that most attract you. Trust me, there are hundreds of them and the quality is unmatched!

So what are you waiting for? Get your stuff ready and off you go!