Of uncertain origins, the first certain evidence dates back to the Peutinger Map where “bardulos” was mentioned, but some Apulan tombs with finds dating back to the IV-III century B.C. prove that a settlement existed here before the Roman period. During the Longobard invasions it was a refuge for the inhabitants of Canosa. It grew in importance during the medieval period as a Norman fortress and trading centre and later became a stopping place for the Crusades on the way to the Holy Land. It reached its maximum splendour under the domination of the Angevins when, thanks to its fleet, the town became rich as a result of trade with the East. The challenge of Barletta of 1503, during which 13 Italian knights led by Ettore Fieramosca fought against 13 French knights, is famous.