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5 PLACES NOT TO MISS IN SAN SEVERO
The city of bell towers
The streets of San Severo are characterized by the majesty of the numerous bell towers that tower over the horizon, visible even from considerable distances. The city is, in fact, known as “the city of bell towers,” a moniker that reflects the remarkable number of bell towers present, which have become true symbols of the city. Adorned with vibrant colored majolica, the bell towers are a real visual attraction. Among the seven bell towers present, including San Lorenzo, San Severino, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Carmine, Sant’Agostino, Santa Maria del Carmine, San Nicola, and Santa Maria della Pietà, particularly noteworthy is that of the mother church of San Severino Abate, the tallest in the entire city.
Giuseppe Verdi theater
The Municipal Theater Giuseppe Verdi is the main theater hall of Capitanata, as well as the third Italian-style theater in Puglia after the Petruzzelli Theater in Bari and the Politeama Greco in Lecce. Designed by Cesare Bazzani, the Municipal Theater of San Severo was built between 1929 and 1936. With a capacity of 800 seats, it is an important venue for numerous events and performances. The neoclassical building, with an almost trapezoidal plan, is located along Corso Garibaldi (the facade) and the Giro Esterno (the left side), becoming, in terms of relevance and distinctive element, a landmark for the city. The Italian-style auditorium, with excellent acoustics, recalls the European history of theater buildings in its style.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta has been the main church of San Severo and its diocese since 1580. Built under the title of Santa Maria in Strada, the church (the third parish in the city) has late medieval origins and preserves, alongside limited medieval remains, remarkable 18th-century paintings and prestigious Neapolitan Baroque marbles. Since its construction, there have been numerous renovations and expansions. The interior was initially a single nave, but in 1580, side aisles were added. Along the side aisles, there are 10 smaller chapels, richly adorned with baroque paintings and sculptures; the pulpit, also in baroque style, is majestic.
The Sanctuary of OUR LADY MADONNA DEL SOCCORSO
In the bustling heart of San Severo, a short distance from the Cathedral, stands the evocative Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Perpetual Help. This magnificent Baroque-style building, erected in the 18th century, was rebuilt in 1679 following an earthquake and subsequently renovated in the late 18th century. The true treasure of the church lies in the ancient statue of the Black Madonna, a Byzantine work carved from Lebanese cedar wood, depicting the Madonna in her youth. The patron saint is celebrated and honored on the third Sunday of May with processions involving the entire city and fireworks, but she receives continuous homage throughout the year through visits and pilgrimages.
Museum of MAT
The MAT of San Severo is located in an ancient convent dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, founded in 1232 and subsequently rebuilt due to the earthquake of 1627. Since 1989, it has housed the Civic Museum, the Historical Archive, and the A. Minuziano Library. The museum’s collection includes artifacts ranging from prehistory to the Middle Ages, organized chronologically to illustrate the evolution of civilization in Daunia, with particular attention to local finds. The museum also features the “Pinacoteca Luigi Schingo,” a collection of modern paintings, and offers educational and cultural services for schools and individual visitors. In 2015, the “Andrea Pazienza” archive, a documentation center dedicated to the local artist, was inaugurated.