Gravina in Puglia
Gravina in Puglia is located in the province of Bari, along the western Murgia, in an area full of hollows and gravines. Its lands border the area between Puglia and Lucania.
Numerous archeological finds confirm the area around Gravina was inhabited since the Early Paleolithic Age. In more recent times, the town was colonised by the Greeks and Romans which is confirmed by the finds of villages and tombs. It was declared a polis under Alexander of Molossis, however in 305 B.C. it became a Roman municipality, something which it long maintained and following the fall of the western Roman Empire the Byzantines took control of Gravina, followed by the Normans. Umfrido d’Altavilla ordered the construction of the cathedral near the castle. Between 1200 and the end of 1300, Gravina fell under the jurisdiction of the Angioinians and firstly became a state-owned town and then a feudal town. During 1200 monks from the Cavalry Orders arrived in the area: the Templars and the Knights of Malta had vast estates in the Gravina area. From 1380 to 1816 Gravina was under the rule of the Orsini of Rome, under the feudal rule of the high clergy and local nobles. Greatly oppressed during the Borbonic period, it was the birthplace of a lot of revolutionary patriots who also shed their blood to unite Italy.
http://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it – Portale Turistico Istituzionale della Regione Puglia