In the former convent of the Friars Minor Conventual of San Francesco coexist in the Mat Alto Tavoliere Museum, the Municipal Library “Alessandro Minuziano”, the Municipal Historical Archives and the Civic Museum. But this time there is no time to visit this impressive building and the rich collections it houses.
Then we continue our tour on the main street on which envisage majestic palaces and leading where once stood the castle. Recently they have been discovered underground rooms but they are not accessible and should be restored.
The cellars, veritable subterranean cathedrals
And continues the story by Giuseppe who takes us back in time to when the flourishing Baroque era ended abruptly with the sacking by the French in 1799, when the Republican army bloodily suppressed a violent revolt against the reactionary Jacobins massacred by the mob. In the tour can not miss a visit to what are regarded as veritable subterranean cathedrals: cellars obtained under the buildings, the streets and squares of the city. San Severo is all pricked into the ground and up to the 50s there were over 500 wineries.
We will visit two, the aforementioned D’Araprì and Domini Dauni, winding both in fascinating underground routes. The first dates back to ‘600 and is located near the Church of San Nicola: here completes the production of the wine bottled with a temporary capping cycle after being worked in another structure, called vendangerie. In the underground walk takes us Girolamo D’Amico, one of the three friends who in 1979 gave birth to D’Araprì (Via Zannotti, San Severo Tel. +39 0882 227643 – www.darapri.it – firstname.lastname@example.org), name given by the first letters of the three surnames: D’amico along with Louis Rapini and Ulrico Priore. Among pieces of the ancient city walls of 1200, an old press of 1836 and the Carbonari Morelli and Silvati prison, age, for at least three years in a cool and dark, the thousands and thousands of bottles of sparkling wine obtained by the method Champenois, also called classic or traditional.
The words of Girolamo carry us into an effervescent and fragrant world, that of the bubbles before developing the characteristic perlage and aromas of yeast and bread crust must rest in these underground for a time ranging from 15 months to 3 years, up to 5 for Millesimati. After this period of aging, the bottles are prepared for placing on the market with a series of operations. The first is the remuage on pupitres, a particular operation of “shaking” which is to place the bottles upside down in special racks so that the deposits collect in the neck to be easily removed without delay opening the bottle. The second is the degorgement: in Italian sboccatura, consists in freezing the wine in the bottle neck and in removing the cap, so that the deposit comes out, pushed by the pressure. At this point the wine is topped up and the closed bottle with the traditional mushroom cap and with a metal cage, which avoids that the stopper comes out due to the pressure within the same.
The apartment on the main floor complete the D’Araprì world. Intimate and elegant is designed for small private or public events. It was left intact the spirit of the place: it was the style of the building to inspire the inside. Behind the curtain of the stern gate and the imposing staircase, the idea of private space unfolds like a treasure chest. Large rooms, high ceilings, intimate made by a Pompeian red palette and period furniture.
Another interesting underground visit is that to the underground cellars dating back to 800 of Domini Dauni (via Angelo Fraccacreta 28, San Severo Tel. +39 0882 226029 – 337 348194 – 349 6935584 – www.dominidauni.com – email@example.com), a young company that gives life to its wines with a handicraft production and quantitatively limited. The high vaulted red brick of the structure gives the impression of entering a sacred place, a holy place to the God Bacchus here finds his highest expression in bottles dedicated to a limited but competent people. Three wines proposed, the white Albor, Bombino white purity, the pink Pièdirosa and red Rubeus, both made from Nero di Troia. Three also the sparkling wines, vinified in steel, bottled after six months and aged on the lees for 36 months: a name for all three, Xenium declined in Brut, Brut Rosé and Pas Dosé.
Curious the history of Cognac made in San Severo who tells us the engineer Fernando Cristalli: once here was produced by the nectar of the Viticultori San Severo Company and are stored in the cellar the last remaining bottles of that ancient and prestigious production.
Our long walk through the streets and squares in the area, and cellars beneath the road surface, ends before the Municipal Theatre, among the largest of the Peninsula, designed by Academician of Italy Cesare Bazzani and decorated in its majestic interior by the artist Luigi Schingo.
At this point, we greet Giuseppe granting us for another visit because the town of San Severo reserves many other surprises!