Italy: Trani – St Nicolas Cathedral

The small seaside town of Trani doesn’t get mentioned in any guidebooks or tourist must-see lists. And what a shame! For it has one of the most stunning cathedrals with an equally stunning right-at-the-seafront setting that is almost fairytale-like. The Trani Cathedral dates back to 1193 and was built from sparkling white limestone (as well as mostly everything else in town, including the ancient fortress). There are two entrances – bottom and top – one leading straight into the crypt while the other one is actually taking you to the main cathedral floor. The front and the tower is beautifully ornamented, as is the inside with medieval domes and arches and frescoes. The town is small, with zero tourists, no crowds, with beautiful narrow streets, sea views, fishing port, cube-like fortress, and several other churches and open piazzas. Just wow!