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A Figure of Eight in Italy

By Linda Tancs

Castel del Monte in southern Italy strikes a perfect octagonal shape. That’s part of what makes it unique, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle. Commissioned around 1240 by German Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, this fortress on a hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lauded for its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity, its exterior limestone block is remarkably intact. Located in Andria near Bari, you can easily reach it by bus, train or car.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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