Andria is a city of over 100,000 inhabitants with a territory that extends over an area of 408 km2, of which some 12,000 acres is included in the Alta Murgia National Park with hills up to 600 meters. height s.l.m..
Right from the heart of the Murgia north of Bari in Puglia, on a hill dominated by the Castel del Monte dear to Frederick II, who looks towards Andria with its distinctive olive-growing landscape represented by over 13,000 acres and more than 3 million olive trees, was born the Consortium olive “Gold Andria” in order to promote and enhance the olive oil produced from olives specifically and only the cultivar “Coratina” characteristic fruity, bitter and spicy.
Andria with 24 mills is the main square of reference of olive production and olive oil level not only regionally but also nationally with an average oil production of about 14,000 tons, which roughly amounts to 50% of the provincial, 9 % of the regional and around 4% of the national average.
Andria, city extra virgin olive oil with its typical cv. “Coratina”, the famous burrata invented in the early 1900s by Lorenzo Bianchini Chieppa and typical confetti created by Nicola Mucci in 1894, is a charming town dominated by the castle wanted by Emperor Frederick II in the XII, better known as Castel del Monte .
The Castle, recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated on a hill in the middle of the Murgia to 541 m. above sea level, like a turreted crown having an octagonal shape, with eight octagonal towers also in a harmonious interweaving of cultures Romanesque, Gothic and Islamic architecture.
The origins of Andria there are traces that are precursors to exist since prehistoric times, perhaps founded by the Greeks and in particular by Diomedes greek, hero of the Trojan War, whose native island (Andros) is supposed to be derived the name of Andria.
Traces of a prehistoric settlement in fact exist on a hill pre-murgian called Santa Barbara (260 m asl), so as to assume its correlation with the city of “Netion”, mentioned by Strabo of Amasia, known greek historian and geographer who lived in the century BC and Horace.
The location of Netion over the centuries has been a real puzzle for scholars. But from what is found patrolling Monte Santa Barbara is not difficult to suppose that this was the site of a settlement given that line there is a nearby necropolis.
“Netion” as the centers of Ruvo, Canosa, Bito, Ceglie, arranged along the median strip of premurgia, that is, between the coast and the hills of the Murgia, was to be a city of Illyrian origin Iapigia the foundation of which appear to date back to around ‘VIII century BC.
In Roman times it was most likely a station of the Via Traiana, with the name “Rudas” mentioned on the tabula Peutingeriana.
Andria gained importance in the Byzantine era as the residence of Byzantine monks, expelled from the east during the iconoclastic struggle of buckets. VIII and IX that have left interesting underground tufa, can still be visited, such as the churches of S. Maria dei Miracoli, dell’Altomare, Jesus of Mercy and Holy Cross.
In 1046 Peter the Norman gave rise conurbation elevating it to a “civitas” encircling wall with 12 watchtowers and a fortress of defense, whose remains are still visible near Castle Gate. Under the rule of the Normans in 1073 became “County” and was elevated to the Bishopric with St Richard English, patron of the city. Succeeded by the Normans in the twelfth century under the Swabians, who, like Frederick II, increased value because of his faithfulness, favoring development with privileges and tax exemptions.
Frederick II chose it as his residence and for this, above one of the highest hills of the Murgia, built Castel del Monte.
Andria became county Angevin, from 1305 when it was given as a dowry by King Charles II of Anjou to his daughter Beatrice, who married the Counts Bertrand del Balzo. Under the Dodge Andria was a duchy in 1350 and suffered a disastrous siege with fire, death and destruction, by German mercenaries and Lombardy in the wake of the Hungarian army.
Andria was a fief of the Orsini, then Consalvo of Cordova, the Dukes finally Carafa, under which, in 1799 underwent un’assedio with destruction, fires and massacres.
Incorporated into the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, followed the fortunes of this until the Unification of Italy Garibaldi electing first deputy of the city.
At the end of the second world war with Italy freed by allies Anglo-American, Andria was involved in a real civil uprising resulted in the tragic day of March 6, 1946 characterized by the martyrdom of the sisters Luisa and Carolina Porro.
THE VILLAGE OF MONTEGROSSO
The current village of Montegrosso was built in the early 30’s on the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government and the Opera National Fascist Fighters, around the “Iazzo” (shelter for flocks).
The village of Montegrosso takes its name from the homonymous hill that overlooks it from a height of 397 and is located 18 km away. from Andria.
It was a center for the collection and storage of cereal production in the area.
In the past Montegrosso was affected by the Transhumance of which there is no trace in the fresco mural exists in the Renaissance palace of the Duke Belgaum which originally consisted of a single plan, called “Tower”, and today consists of two floors, which is preserved a fresco which certifies the properties of the Duke Belgaum.
The village of Montegrosso currently home to several dozens of households and is distinguished by the presence of activity for the restaurant including the typical restaurant “Traditional flavors” of Pietro Zito.
The extra virgin olive oil typical of Andria is produced from olives of the variety “coratina” which takes the characteristic tingling in the throat, of genuineness and authenticity of the oil, due to the strong presence of polyphenols that improve the oxidation resistance making the longest between extra virgin olive oil.
This characteristic associated with a low acid content and linoleic palmidico and a high content of oleic acid (monounsaturated), compared to oils of other varieties, gives the title of “fruity Andria”.
The extra virgin olive oil from Corato time has earned the distinction of fruity oil due to its strong aroma, the taste of fresh olives and color very green, as well as the characteristic resistance to rancidity.
The peculiarities of extra virgin olive oil produced in particular by the variety coratina, are the mainstay of the Mediterranean diet due to its biological value and salutariness especially if free from pesticide.
Noteworthy are the benefits to be derived from the consumption of oil, especially raw, in the development of the child to its fatty acid composition which makes it very close to the fat of breast milk in cardiovascular diseases in the prevention of aging phenomena, due to the low polyunsaturated fat in favor of monounsaturated fats.
In addition, the extra virgin olive oil produced by the variety “coratina”, has a high digestibility, promote the protection of the mucous membrane of the stomach and acts positively in diseases of the biliary tract; ensure the body the right amount of linoleic acid, does not clog arteries since it reduces the excess of cholesterol in the blood, allows the higher absorption of vitamins, especially vitamin E; performs an action on the intestine adjustment on peristalsis, etc. ..
The wine produced in the countryside of Andria Castel del Monte DOC, from native grapes, stands out above all for the production of red “Nero di Troia,” pink “Bombino Nero” and white “Pampanuto” and “Bombino bianco”, thanks to some wineries that in recent years have characterized their productions focusing on quality.
The burrata is the pride of the dairy Andria, thanks to the invention dell’andriese Lorenzo Bianchini Chieppa, in the ’20s, the farm Piana Padula at Castel del Monte, where he worked the manteche (cheese with spun dough stuffed with lightly seasoned butter). Lorenzo Bianchini Chiappa, had the idea to create a kind of fiasco to save you inside, with cream, shredded mozzarella (called Stracciatella). Initially the production of burrata consisted in blowing power with the paste of the fresh mozzarella in order to obtain a kind of flask. Subsequently the family Chiappa perfected a compressor that allowed to obtain the same effect, ensuring better hygiene.
The burrata is a fresh cheese made of spun paste special springs made of a thin shell of spun paste of cow’s milk stuffed with shredded mozzarella and fresh cream.
The casing is traditionally covered with green leaves of asphodel. Even today, the procedure followed has remained the same but with the advantage of technological innovation that guarantees quality and hygiene.
The confetti are other production characteristics of the city of Andria thanks to Nicola Mucci that at the end of 1800 he started producing very popular with many specialties like the berries decorated stuffed with almond paste flavored with vanilla, chocolate pralines with the tender heart hazelnuts, almonds, candied orange, cream coffee, grappa raisins, as well as sugared almond “grandmother.”
The Mandorlaccio and sweet almond cakes are come down from ancient times to the present day. The bakeries offer it, without betraying the spirit of the people, making dough in chopped almonds and honey. E ‘light, fragrant, elegant, suitable for close lunch but also to offer guests or to enjoy during an evening with friends. We should also mention the sweet almond paste, the “rose” to the cooked wine and honey and cocoa mostaccioli.