comune in Apulia, Italy

Trani is a seaport city in the Apulia region of southern Italy. It is on the Adriatic Sea. Its main industries are wine-making, fishing, and mining. The number of people living in Trani in 2011 was 53,940.

Trani and its harbor at night
Coat of arms

History of Trani

Trani in the 18th century

The old name of Trani was Turenum or Tirenum. An old myth says that Tirenus built the city. Tirenus was the son of Diomedes, a hero in ancient Greece who fought in the Trojan War. The city was on an ancient Roman map called the Tabula Peutingeriana. It was the first map to show this city. The map was made in the 3rd century. At first, Trani was a very small city and not very important. It started to grow and be more important in the 9th century. At that time, the Lombards (a Germanic people) ruled Trani. Later, the Byzantine Empire ruled the city.[1]

The Normans took over Trani from the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century. From the 11th century until the 13th century, Trani was a rich and very important city. This was especially true when the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ruled Trani. Trani was an important port for the Knights Templar during the Crusades. People came from all over Italy to do business there. Many churches, palaces, and castles were built in Trani during this time.[1] Many Jews lived in Trani at this time. There were 200 Jewish families and four big synagogues in the city. Isaiah di Trani, one of the most famous rabbis of the Middle Ages, lived there.[2]

After Frederick II died in 1250, there was trouble in Trani. In the next 300 years, there were wars between the Angevins, Aragon and Venice over who should rule Trani. The city became poorer and less important. Trani was almost destroyed during the French Revolutionary Wars at the end of the 18th century. Many people in the town were against the French Revolution. In March 1799, they rioted and killed many members of the city's most important families. When the French army saw this, they attacked the city on April 1, 1799. The army killed many people and burned Trani's buildings. Over 1000 people died in the riots and the French attack.[3]

Trani began to grow again in the middle of the 19th century. It grew even more in the 20th century. By 2011, 53,940 people lived in the city.[4]



Today, the main industries in Trani are wine-making, fishing, and mining. Trani is famous for a sweet wine called Moscato di Trani.[5] The grapes for this wine are grown in the Trani countryside. Fruit and olives for making olive oil are other important crops for Trani. There are mines for bauxite just outside the city.[6] There are also quarries for a special kind of rock called pietra di Trani (Trani stone). Trani has special factories for cutting this stone. Many buildings in Trani and in southern Italy are made from this stone. Trani stone was used to build the ports in Malta and Egypt.[7] Trani also has some small factories for making clothes and shoes.[8]

Important buildings


Famous people from Trani



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kleinhenz (2004) p. 1090
  2. The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906). "Apulia". Funk and Wagnalls
  3. Schiralli, Mario (April 20, 2011). "Trani 1799: Dall'insorgenza all'eccidio" Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine. Trani News (in Italian)
  4. "Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT)". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  5. Bode (1974) p. 38
  6. Facility Project p. 2
  7. Traniweb. Economic Activities Archived 2011-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Facility Project p. 12
  9. Licinio (1994) p. 192
  10. Facaros and Pauls (2004) p. 946; Kleinhenz (2004) p. 1090
  11. Zivotofsky and Greenspan (28 August 2006)
  12. "Bovio, Giovanni", Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (in Italian)
  13. "Chiarelli, Luigi", Cassell Dictionary of Italian Literature, p. 126


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