Our region, our school and its town

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  • I am Molfetta born and now reside in Adelaide, South Australia.I am impressed with your concise knowledge of Molfetta ( I came upon your site while researching the sculptor Giulio Cozzoli) as well as your school. Well done Maria. Regards, Pino.
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Our region, our school and its town

  1. 1. The region of Apulia (official Italian name: Puglia) is considered the heel of the Italian "boot” and is located in the southeast of Italy. It borders the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea and is mostly a plain; the Tavoliere plain and the Salento plateau cover in fact a huge part of its territory; its low areas are however broken by the mountainous Gargano Peninsula in the north, and by the Murgia hills which stretch from the centre to the south-west area of the region. Bari’s Basilica, dedicated to St. Nicholas Bari is the capital of the region, which is divided into 6 provinces: Bari, Brindisi, Foggia Lecce, Taranto and Barletta-Andria-Trani.
  2. 2. Apulia's main areas of natural beauty and tourist attractions are: the Gargano, a beautiful promontory with its high coasts and rugged cliffs, its mountains of grey outcrops and salty lakes. In this promontory one can not only see one of Italy’s most beautiful National Parks but also some important holy places such as the oldest shrine in Europe, Monte Sant’Angelo, which in the Middle Ages was an obligatory destination for the pilgrims going to the Holy Land, and San Giovanni Rotondo, where Renzo Piano has recently dedicated a church to the most famous modern saint who lived in a monastery in this town, San Pio di Pietralcina
  3. 3. the Baroque-style façades of Lecce’s churches Lecce- Basilica of the Holy Cross the Grottos of Castellana, one of the biggest cave systems in Europe where one can admire the natural beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites
  4. 4. Castel del Monte, a unique Swabian castle which is only half an hour’s drive from Molfetta (this castle has been included among the World’s Cultural Heritage of UNESCO) A late afternoon view of Castel del Monte the cone-shaped picturesque houses of Alberobello, better known as Trulli which are also part of Unesco’s world Cultural Heritage.
  5. 5. There are also countless charming historical centres such as Conversano, Barletta, Canosa di Puglia, Manfredonia, Martina Franca, Mesagne, Molfetta, Ostuni (the white town), Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Trani, with its world famous cathedral, San Vito dei Normanni, Gioia del Colle, Andria, Ruvo di Puglia, Bitonto and many more. Away from the coast Apulia rises gradually towards a plateau, the Murge, which has been set aside as the first Italian rural park. Towards the Ionian area in the south we can find the gravine, rugged and deep ravines. This area is in fact famous not only for its natural and artificial cave settlements but also for the rock-churches which were carved in the Middle Ages by Greek monks who had settled here.
  6. 6. Molfetta is a trading and maritime town situated in Apulia, a region which is in the south-east of Italy. It boasts both one of the most important fishing port in the lower half of the Adriatic sea and one of the most important fish markets in Italy. It is composed of a characteristic medieval fishbone central nucleus and of an increasingly developing modern area. Molfetta is 25 kilometres far from Bari, the second most important city in the southern mainland. The province of Bari stretches on a long strip of plain on the Adriatic coastline that gradually rises towards an internal plateau, the Murge, which has been marked off as the first Italian rural park. Near Molfetta there are attractive middle-size towns which run parallel to the coastline (Bisceglie, Trani, Barletta, Giovinazzo) or which are in the interior of the Province (Andria, Ruvo di Puglia, etc.).
  7. 7. Molfetta’s origins are to be found in a the grottoes of a Karst depression, the Pulo, where there are traces of a Neolithic civilization. Molfetta was a royal town which enjoyed a number of privileges under the Swebian and the Angevin rule and was a thriving commercial centre under the Aragonese. After a period of wars it was annexed to the Naples kingdom until the unification of Italy. On the edge of the old town, which has a particular fish-bone pattern, there is the Duomo Vecchio, a charming Romanesque Cathedral ( the old Cathedral) which is considered as one of the finest examples of Romanesque Apulian architecture and is currently a national monument. It was built between 1150 and the end of the 13th century.
  8. 8. Another important church is the Madonna dei Martiri, a basilica whose original church was built, thanks to the will of William II the Norman, in 1162 on the ruins of the burial place of the Hospice of the Crusaders, where the pilgrims who made for the Holy Land stopped. . The whole front side of this church has been rebuilt in neoclassical style in the 19th century. In 1951 the Madonna of the Martyrs, thanks to the special worship seamen and people from Molfetta show towards her, has been declared Co-Patroness of Molfetta and in 1985 the church was raised to the rank of Minor Pontifical Basilica. This church has an adjoining building, the Hospice of the Crusaders, was built in 1095 by Robert Guiscard’s son, Roger D’Altavilla. It was made up of two buildings which were built not only to put up pilgrims who, in order to receive indulgences, visited Apulian sanctuaries (St. Michel Archangel, St. Nicholas of Bari), but also to give help to the pilgrims and crusaders who made for the Holy Land. The building is nowadays one of the most elegant facilities used for local art exhibitions.
  9. 9. Its present Cathedral has an imposing baroque façade, made of dressed and squared ashlars in local stone. Its building was started on behalf of the Jesuits’ Order after 1610 and was ended at the end of the 17th century
  10. 10. Other old churches of the town are: The Church of the Purgatory: this church is also called St. Mary of the Afflicted and was built in 1643. Its façade, in late Renaissance style. This church houses seven papier-mâché statues representing the Saints who witnessed Jesus Christ’s passion. These statues were carved by Giulio Cozzoli, a famous native sculptor, and are displayed during the procession superintended by the confraternity of the Death on Holy Saturday. St. Stephen’s Church, which was built in 1286 outside the walls of the town as a shelter for people affected by infectious diseases. During Molfetta’s Pillage the church was seriously damaged and consequently reconstructed from 1540. Its main façade was built again in Renaissance style in 1586 and is divided into three orders and nowadays has only one nave and an aisle as one of the two original aisles was sold in the past. Its decoration is an eclectic combination of late-Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and also Romanesque features. Among other works, five wooden statues representing Christ’s Passion, which are exhibited during the procession of Good Friday, are kept in this church.
  11. 11. St. Dominic’s Church, which was started in 1636 and was consecrated in 1699. On its façade there is a colonnade which is flanked by niches where the statues of St. Catherine of Alessandria and of St. Mary Madelaine are set. On the entrance portal there is a stone effigy of the Saint, holding in his hands the town. The present bronze doors have been made by Vito Zaza, a sculptor form Molfetta. Inside the church a painting by T. Giaquinto, “the Madonna of the Rosary”, is displayed in the second left chapel; two other precious paintings, “The fall of the manna in the wilderness” and “The bronze snake” by Nicola Porta are placed on the sides of the main altar. A choir and a pulpit of the 17th century are also particularly worthy of admiration.
  12. 12. La Fabbrica di San Domenico, an adjoining building which is a former convent of the Domican Friars, is nowadays a multipurpose complex which is made of the Record Office, the Town Library, an Art and Cultural Centre, a Neviera (an underground storage room where food was preserved in snow) where exhibitions are mounted, a conference hall and an atrium where cultural events and also concerts are held. A wonderful bronze sculpture of the Deposition conceived by G. Cozzoli is permanently exhibited in these premises.
  13. 13. St. Bernardine’s Church: this church, which was formerly a convent of the Observant Minor Friars, was built in 1451 and rebuilt in 1585, as a consequence of the damages brought about by the French and the Venetian army during Molfetta’s Pillage. Behind the main altar, you can admire a 16th century walnut choir having 18 stalls and the baroque statue of the Immaculate Conception, by the sculptor Brodaglia. A 15th century polyptych by an unknown author is nowadays displayed in the Passaris’ Chapel. A 20 meter votive monument, built in 1856, adjoins this church. It is called the Calvary and is a three-tiered gothic spire built on an octagonal plan. Each level is decorated with cusps and cruciform pinnacles and the last tier is surmounted by a stone cross.
  14. 14. The exterior of the school
  15. 15. The ITCGT G. Salvemini is a technical and technological upper secondary school for accountants, surveyors and tourism operators. It is dedicated to Gaetano Salvemini an important historian, politician and journalist from Molfetta (1873-1957). You who get in, leave out any hope (From Dante’s Hell) A graffiti on the entrance door of the school if you want to see more you can click on
  16. 16. The ITCGT G. Salvemini has carried out an important function in the making of the economic and commercial actors not only of the town but also of the surroundings, adapting its courses to the specific needs of the town and of the territory, in a country which has specialised rather than comprehensive secondary schools. The school is attended by about 1000 students who come from Molfetta and from its surrounding towns. It has evening courses for adults and, from many years, we have been offering various extracurricular activities both to our students and to the public. The Language laboratory
  17. 17. Our courses are then closely interwoven not only with the town economy but also with the surrounding towns' systems as trade, the building sector and tourism are playing a major role in this area. In fact when Molfetta had a strong need of accountants for its strongly developed trade and commerce network, our school, which was set up in 1949, had just one qualified course for this specific job. As the building sector became more and more important for the town, which a few decades ago went through a considerable growth, a course for surveyors was introduced in the 1987-88 school- year. Over the years this highly specialized course has turned out to be an important qualification also for the surrounding towns. In 2001 two new courses were introduced: the first one, called Mercurio, aimed at complementing business administration skills with computer programming, while the second one, called Iter, had the objective of training tourist operators and to meet the strong tourist potentials of our area.
  18. 18. With the new school reform, which is being implemented during the current school year, the Mercurio course has been turned into Business Information Technological Systems, the other administrative course, whose old name was Igea, has been called Administration, Finance and Marketing, and the Iter course which also belonged to the economic field, has been renamed Tourism. As regards the surveyors course, which belonged to the technological area, it has been named Building Craft, Environment and Territory. There has been an overall reduction of teaching hours (generally from 35/36 to 32) and schools have been urged to establish stronger links with the working world representatives and with the school territory. For this reason training periods are not only highly recommended but they are part of the curricula in their own right and our school in the last few three year has been organizing several training periods in cooperation with public bodies or with private firms. Our didactic plan aims at matching the need of giving technical and technological skills with the need of helping students to become good citizens, in other words to help students to become not only good technicians but also good (wo)men, who are aware of social problems and who have a proper civic consciousness.
  19. 19. For reaching this objective our extracurricular activities are strongly integrated in the school didactic plan and make up the test-bench to experiment innovative and methods to deal with updated contents, which take into account the difficulty of new generations to spend long hours on books, the need to look for laboratorial methods which allow students to put into practice theoretical teaching and also to sensitize students of social issues, which is also a way to make them feel part of a caring community and to reduce school dropouts.
  20. 20. During these school years our curricula have been complemented with projects financed through the school funds and with projects included in the so-called Integrated Plan which comprises the projects financed by the European Social Fund and by the Regional Development Social Fund. Other ESF projects are instead reserved to the school staff or to adults and to former school students. Apart from the Cambridge ESOL, the Trinity, the DELF, the FT2 and the ECDL projects, which aim at achieving a certificate in the English, French and German language or in the computer use, some projects are meant to give professional skills in the field of surveying, trade and commerce and tourism. The teachers of the surveying course organize projects for building with eco-materials, to respect safety laws in the building site, to teach art history or teach restoration and renovation techniques, to draw with Auto CAD. if you want to see more you can click on
  21. 21. Archaeological excavation campaigns have been organized in cooperation with the University of Bari in the last five years and represent by now one of the most significant projects of our school. if you want to see more you can click on
  22. 22. Students of the IV B Mercurio took part in the project Firms in Action promoted by Junior Achievement Italia during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years. The 2008-09 IV B Mercurio class set up a no-profit firm called ElioSynergy. The students, set up a firm named Sun Sun and, supported by a local firm the Emitech Ltd, devised a mobile solar charger and gave the profits obtained from the sales of this innovative product for charitable purposes. The 2009-10 IV B students instead set up a firm called EcoFloyed and invented a space-saving shopping kit, ranking fifth in the related national competition. if you want to see more you can click on
  23. 23. Students from the Iter course have been taking part in projects for tour escorts or for tourist guides but, as regards tourism specialisation, the training periods organized at the Airport of Pisa are undoubtedly the most meaningful projects as they have taught students how to deal with the main tasks of airport staff. if you want to see more you can click on
  24. 24. Other professional projects enrich our didactic plan school but the formative projects are also varied, as they range fromvolunteering on a European scale to the use of alternative energies, from waste recycling to journalism, from sailing and scuba-diving to theatre, popular dances, creative music, home design and clothes creative graphics: in the 2009-2010 school-year the School Council of Teachers approved some 40 projects, which shows a great effort of creativity and dedication on behalf of the school teachers and of interest and involvement into school life on behalf of our students. if you want to see more you can click on

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