Santeramo in Colle is the highest-located municipality in the province of Bari. Its name in fact derives from the existence of a place of worship, probably a hermitage with a monastery.

The history of Santeramo is very ancient: in this very place the remains of settlements dating back to the 9th-8th century BC have been found.
During the Hellenic period, Santeramo had its particular period of prominence thanks to the production of ceramics. In fact, in that period the ancient town was famous for the ceramics decorated with motifs reminiscent of Greek geometry.

You might decide to spend a weekend in Santeramo or discover it in joining one of our tours:

⇒ Cycling holidays in Italy: Unesco tour

⇒ Puglia on Gravel bike: from Bari to Matera

⇒ Walk the Cammino Materano in 7 or 9 days

⇒ Walk the Way from Bari to Matera

What to see in Santeramo

We have prepared a list with the things not to be missed in Santeramo to fully enjoy the beauty of this fascinating village nestled in the Apulian Murgia. Why not decide to dedicate a day to discovering the beauties of Santeramo?

  • Parrocchia di Santissimo Crocifisso;
  • Chiesa di Sant'Erasmo;
  • Palazzo Marchesale Caracciolo - Carafa.

And now let's set off together to discover the most incredible places in Santeramo!

Parrocchia di Santissimo Crocifisso

Walking through the streets of Santeramo you can admire the parish of the Santissimo Crocifisso. It is one of the symbolic religious buildings of the country and stands on the highest point of the city, almost as if to protect it. Although the church is relatively recent, dating back to 1931, it has a neoclassical style architecture, decorated on the façade with the symbol of the Franciscan order and composed of a single nave with a barrel vault.
The most fascinating element of the complex, however, is the convent which is located immediately next to the parish. This, in fact, dates back to 1671 and was built thanks to the donation of a marquis to accommodate the Franciscan friars and minor orders, as well as numerous pilgrims.

Chiesa di Sant'Erasmo

This is the cathedral of Santeramo which stands in the center of the town and is dedicated to the patron saint of the city: Sant'Erasmo da Formia. The entire structure was built in 1729 in Baroque style, despite being based on a pre-existing chapel from the 1500s.
Inside it is possible to admire the wonderful decorations in polychrome marble enriched by patterns that recall its veins, created with the help of stucco. The church also preserves the bas-relief of a Madonna and Child created by the famous sculptor Francesco Laurana.

Palazzo Marchesale Caracciolo - Carafa

It is one of the emblematic buildings of Santeramo, located a few minutes walk from the town center. It was built in 1586 by the Marquis Caracciolo, one of the most important families in the city at that time. The architectural structure is typical of the 1500s with the large portal in the center and the decorations in relief. At the back it is still possible to see the wonderful garden which was once used for the arrival of carriages and the refreshment of the horses.

To date, the palace is only open during some days of the year to host meetings, fairs and conferences, as well as small shows and cultural events.

What to do in Santeramo - the Slow Active Tours proposal

Once you have discovered the wonders hidden among the streets of Santeramo, 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 Santeramo that you absolutely cannot miss!

  • Grotta di Sant'Angelo

    For nature enthusiasts, the Sant'Angelo cave is an absolutely obligatory stop!
    It is a cave of karst origin that can be easily found by taking a walk inside the Alta Murgia National Park. It is a natural cave inside which two main human references can be found: a repositorum, i.e. a niche with an arch, and graffiti. The niche has origins that are not well dated, although it has been hypothetically traced back to the medieval period. As for the graffiti, which is also not specifically dated, it is mainly crosses and probably represented religious symbols or signatures of pilgrims who passed through the cave.
    The cave can be reached via a small 4 km long trekking route, but unfortunately it is not possible to access the interior, although you can stop at the door and admire its great grandeur

  • Teatro Saltimbanco 

    If you are in the Santeramo area, an unusual but very interesting activity would be to attend a show at the Saltimbanco Theatre. It is a Salesian theater which has combined the simplicity of the architectural structure with the remarkable quality of the services and shows it offers.

  • Parco dei Briganti

    6 km from Santeramo it is possible to reach, even on foot, the Briganti park. It is an oasis of fun for adults and children hidden in the middle of the woods in this park. In fact, it is possible to carry out many different activities, including adventure trails among the trees and treasure hunts, but above all the park offers tables where you can have a picnic in company totally immersed in nature.

  • Cammino Materano

    For lovers of trekking and nature walks, the area's path par excellence cannot be missed: the Cammino Materano! It is a path that connects the cities of Bari and Matera, leading those who follow it to totally immerse themselves in the wonderful Mediterranean scrub. The path passes right through Santeramo in Colle, making the town its third stop.

Popular festivals and celebrations of Santeramo

Santeramo in Colle is a town extremely linked to the traditions of the past and popular events, for this reason the local festivals often have this recurring theme.
In the last week of September the Farmers' Festival of Santeramo in Colle is celebrated, a very particular festival which revives the habits and customs of the popular peasant tradition of Santeramo. On this occasion, in fact, it is possible to attend stands that depict traditional artisan shops and inns where people in traditional clothes serve typical dishes of the Murgia countryside. An event not to miss!
In the first week of September, however, the roast meat festival is celebrated. A festival that enhances local food and wine and where it is possible to taste all the typical local products. In these three days the streets of Santeramo are filled with stands offering food and drinks and stages offering different types of shows.

Typical dishes of Santeramo

Santeramo in Colle is a town with an enormous culinary tradition. In this area, in fact, it is possible to find, in addition to the numerous traditional Apulian products, numerous baked products, among which tarallini flavored with wild fennel seeds and extra virgin olive oil stand out, and the exquisite local dairy products such as Gioia del Colle DOP mozzarella.
But there is one thing in particular that distinguishes Santeramo in Colle for its strong culinary tradition. In these places, in fact, it is possible to find the characteristic fornelli of Santeramo. These are small shops and butchers that sell all types of meat. Horse meat is particularly typical of the place, but also ghimirid, rolls made with goat kid or lamb entrails. Don't be fooled by the description, they are actually delicious! But what represents these shops most of all is the presence of some stoves in the back of the shop where it is possible to cook freshly purchased meat. In these almost hidden places the meat is cooked according to the ancient rules of tradition, therefore in wood-fired ovens which are fueled by wood from olive and almond trees, the typical trees of this area. The meat is then served accompanied by potatoes and onions rigorously cooked on the skewer. Trust me, meat cooked in this way has a completely different flavor!
If you love cooking and trying new delicacies, these are the places for you. Don't be afraid, come closer, have fun and enjoy the exquisiteness of these places.

Eating and drinking in Santeramo

Among the many restaurants in the center of Santeramo, we recommend some that are worth visiting:
Macelleria Lassandro, in Roma street 28. This is an excellent butcher's shop that offers the possibility of choosing different types of meat and then serves them cooked at the table. Excellent opportunity to taste tasty and excellent quality products. The staff in the dining room make the meal even more pleasant thanks to their kindness and courtesy.
Agriturismo la Murgia Di Cialledda, in Contrada Cocevoline, 1. Farmhouse surrounded by greenery, ideal for savoring the true flavors of tradition and the countryside. Very fresh products and good wine are the winning cards of this place on the outskirts of Santeramo.
Vindò, in Roma street 139. In the heart of Santeramo is Vindò, a very well-kept restaurant characterized by the typical dishes of the traditional Apulian cuisine that it serves to its diners, but above all by the great quality of the raw materials it uses. You will also have the opportunity to choose wine from an extensive list. Highly recommended place by visitors and locals!

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