Noci, the town of Fragni and Gnostre …
Noci is located halfway between Bari and Taranto, a city of woods, once widespread in the area and largely demolished between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, still occupying about 20% of the entire municipal area and consist mainly of fragni.
The historic center of Nocese is very characteristic thanks to the presence of the “gnostre”, that is open courtyards on the small streets of the historic center, there is a festival called “Bacchus in the gnostre” with new wine and roasted chestnuts which is held the first weekend of November .
Among the most precious places in the historic center there is certainly the Mother Church of Santa Maria della Natività.
Located in the old town square, it was built in 1300 by Philip of Anjou who, sheltering under a walnut tree during a bad storm, saw the Madonna appearing and dedicated a church to her.
Inside the church there is a beautiful baptismal font from the fourteenth century, frescoes from the fifteenth century, and a Madonna with child by the artist Stefano da Putignano.
Another place not to be missed is the rock church of Barsento, built in 591 and commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great for the monks of Saint Equizio Abate, located about 2 km from the town.
It has a structure similar to that of the trulli and inside there are elements of the Romanesque period.
Furthermore Noci is known for the great Abbey of the Madonna della Scala, about 6 kilometers from the city. Built in 1930 with a 12th-century Romanesque church inside, today it is a place of prayer for various pilgrims and the residence of Benedictine monks who are dedicated to the ancient craft of restoring ancient books.
Last but not least noteworthy, the small sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna della Croce, 1 km from the town. In the church there is a fresco of the 15th century.