Trani, laying a little north of Bari, on the clear blue Adriatic, is a town to where those from the north flock in summer. In the evenings Magical Summer Events in the open air provide a welcome break from the hot midday sun. Especially those in the square of the Cathedral, where the perfume of the sea adds a new sensory experience.
For tourists seeking the beaches and sea who first come to the area around Trani, many of the pleasures in old Trani may escape them. We have had the pleasure to awake to a wonderful old town nestled around a small harbour.
There is a fishing fleet of about a dozen boats that disgorge their catches onto the pier and sell directly to locals as well as traders. On the northern point of the harbour stands, in glory of local stone, the Trani Cathedral of Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim (sounding much more romantic in Italian – San Nicola Pellegrino). Nicholas was a young man who arrived in Apulia from Greece and roamed the streets chanting ‘Kyrie Eleison’ attracting children and the derision of the locals.
On his early death in 1094, he was quickly sanctified (1098) and the new cathedral had its own saint for its completion in 1200. The cathedral square is surrounded on the north east by the sea wall, on the north-west by the Law Courts and offices, and on the south-west by a wonderful museum eclectically combining the Diocesan Museum, the Museum of the Synagogue, and the Typewriter Museum.
And it is to be outside of this museum (FUORI MUSEO) that has drawn us once again to Trani. Fuori Museo is a series of summer musical events in Trani organised by Fondazione SECA, thanks to Cavaliere Natalino Pagano, that started with the Rockabilly Band in late June and will conclude with a free concert by the Matteo Borghi Band on 4th September.
Our visit is to experience the musical tales by Nicola Piovani and his ‘jazz’ group, Compagnia della Luna, themed ‘Music is Dangerous’. For many the evening, which started only one hour late, centres around hearing a live rendition of the music, which won Nicola Piovani his Oscar, from the film ‘Life is Beautiful’ of Roberto Benigni. Nicola kept his promise, and our eclectic theme, with a range of compositions spanning the emotions and renditions of the stories behind the compositions.
His ‘Company’ told the stories of relations with famous directors through the alto sax, clarinet, guitar, cello, double base, accordion and tympani, with Nicola at the piano. The Puglia evening kept its summer-long promise and the warm air lifted the clouds into the heavens.
Now let us relive the concerts of 2016.
The team from Fondazione SECA broughtg Renzo Arbore and the Italian Orchestra on 3rd August with their Italian traditional airs. On 6th in her NAIF Tour, Malika Ayane entertained, her voice ‘the colour of a dark orange that tastes of a bitter and rare spice’. Sergio Rubini entitled his recital on 12th August ‘Sud’. While, after a break for Ferragosto festivities, Suoni del Sud String Orchestra gave a free tour through the career of Mina Mazzini on 21 August.
Skin brought us into the millennial generation with a DJ performance on the southern point of the harbour on Friday 2nd September, and Matteo Borghi and his band wrapped up the Summer Events Outside the Museum on the 4th.
The concerts under the artistic direction of Gerardo Russo, were guaranteed to entertain, and if like our night with Nicola Piovani, sell out. To find out more events in Trani just visit the Fondazione SECA site www.fondazioneseca.it. If you are coming from afar, seek out a B&B close to the port in the old city, and make sure that you save time to visit the cathedral and the wonderful Typewriter Museum.