Strada Palazzo di Città (Town Hall road), which was originally a secondary via Francingena- a pilgrim route, links piazza Mercantile to the famous Basilica of Saint Nicholas which has been visited, for centuries, by many Cristian and Orthodox devotees. The road also makes up a small part of the ancient European route used by many pilgrims that linked Galicia with Jerusalem. Bari was considered an important stop-over due to the relics of its patron Saint Nicholas.
Its current name, however, comes from the fact that one of the many noble buildings found on this street used to house the town hall until 1863.
Just imagine being a pilgrim entering this street from piazza Mercantile and heading towards the basilica. Along your journey you would be accompanied by a number of points of interest that can’t be ignore:
-Saint Pelagia church is found at number 63 and is currently dedicated to Saint Ann. The church was most probably built between the XI and XII century but its façade was changed at a later date. Inside you can find a wooden crucifix, a gilded wooden altar, four statues of saints and numerous paintings.
-Palazzo D' Amelj , found at number 61 , is an eighteenth century building which belonged to a family of wealthy landowners from the nearby town of Binetto and it’s characterized by a recently restored painting of the Madonna del Lume on the facade of the, which in 1767 , after the dissolution of the Jesuit order, was moved there from the church of Jesus.
-Palazzo Tanzi, found at number 54, was the former home of the original Tanzi family from northern Italy who arrived in Bari in the wake of Isabella of Aragon. The Renaissance style façade is embellished, according to a sixteenth-century recurring pattern, with a portal bearing the family’s initials in iron and an architrave decorated with Latin epigraph (Ingredere has aedes quisquis amicus eris) praising the hospitality, and the profiles of Japige and Barione.
-Palazzo Zizzi, found at number 29, with a medieval layout but with a Renaissance portal which is also adorned with Latin epigraph (Post tenebram hope lucem) and bas-reliefs of the mythical founders of Bari, Japige and Barione, was donated by Bona Sforza to the royal physician Onorato Zizzi, who was later disgraced,;
The road ends with a succession of two arches that show a 1762 plaque that recalls the widening of the street and of the arch by the Prior and Chapter of St Nicholas, and a polychrome bas-relief depicting St. Nicholas, one of the many aedicule found dotted around the old city, which seem to welcome the worshipers who has reached their destination.