In the field of art, special attention should be paid to pre-Christian and early Christian art, rooted in this land to such a degree that you might even consider Apulia as a huge archaeological site. If you think about the importance attached to these places owing to the ongoing relations and trade with the Near East, it will come natural to think that foreign rule dates from the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The new archaeological discovery of Apulia is not only epitomised by museums, but more specifically by the ongoing search for traces of the past. Ruins of ancient towns were brought to light and said discovery provided some useful indications about the lifestyle of old dwellers: funerary outfits, vases, coins, statues, jewellery and several objects of daily use were found during excavations, thus telling the story of peoples considered to be the forefathers of modernity.

One of the most interesting Apulian archaeological centres is the city of Egnatia, whose ruins are half-submerged by water: rectangular tombs, full of sea deposits, are carved in rocks. EGNATIA was a thriving Messapian and then Roman city, well-renowned for its trades and pottery. Still today, around the ACROPOLIS, surrounded by walls, we note the remains of floors, porticos, temples, as well as the FORUM and the ruins of an AMPHITHEATRE and a basilica with a nave and two aisles divided by columns whose bases are still visible today; the stones of the ancient TRAJAN way with ruts of wheels, and then cisterns, wells, tombs and bits of cyclopean walls that go down to reach the port.

Probably the city witnessed a battle during the twenty-year Greek-Gothic war (5th century AD). In any case, the city started to decline right at that time and never recovered. Today's life is represented by archaeological research; visitors who may admire the Archaeological Park and, beyond a typically Apulian dry wall, the modern National Museum and the Messapian Necropolis where, amid other finds, you may admire the wonderful mosaic of the Three Graces, a unique example of mosaic art in Egnatia (the subject of the mosaic is mythological and was widely common in figurative arts during the Roman age).
In the city of Ostuni, inside the ex convent of the Monacelle, you may find the Pre-classical History Museum of southern Murgia that groups together a number of archaeological finds in connection with the stratigraphic surveys carried out in this area with a view to identifying some traces of pre-classical civilisations, in addition to the remains of a pregnant woman that are now 20,000 years old, thus making her be remembered as the oldest mother in the world. The city of Taranto, apart from preserving the latest ruins of Magna Grecia buildings such as the amphitheatre, a Doric temple, part of an aqueduct and the baths, hosts the National Archaeological Museum. Here you may admire some fascinating remains of funerary outfits, which are famous especially for the polished filigree work of noble metals.
But the discovery of the past of this land is not only related to the Greeks and the Romans. As a matter of fact, the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire brought about a period of great historical confusion that resulted in the Middle Ages during which many Byzantine monks flew from the East and found shelter in this land, living hidden in ravines. The ravines, formed by rifts caused by seismic events and then eroded by the wind and underground rivers, are commonly scattered throughout Apulia and represented the ideal shelter for said communities.
The rediscovery of these places is a journey marked by colours, graffiti and engravings typical of Christian-Orthodox iconography that brings evidence about the Christian fervour of local settlers.

Around Fasano, and more specifically in Lama d'Antico, you may still see a church with a Greek plan dominated by several domes covered with frescoes portraying Jesus Christ between Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, approximately dating from the 12th century. In St. Mark ravine in Massafra, another grand rupestrian work is still visible. The influence of Christian communities is very strong in this place. The fresco of Pantocrator Christ is kept in St. Marine crypt, in addition to other examples of decorative wealth and frescoes, like the crypts of Madonna della Candelora and S. Maria della Buona Nuova. Please remember that these were not only places of worship, but real communities.