Niccolò Piccinni’s house in Vico Fiscardi widens up into a small courtyard where an external flight of stairs leads to the first floor. It consists of a long, narrow three-storey dwelling, having a width of only four metres, compared to a depth of over thirty metres. The ground floor is accessed via Piazza Mercantile where four interconnecting rooms develop along the entire length of the building. On the first floor, there are five rooms and a rectangular light well, housing a staircase that leads to the second floor. The building is historically important not only because it is the childhood home of the famous composer, but also because restoration work carried out in the 1980s unveiled the remains of a rectangular medieval tower house, constructed with hewn limestone masonry blocks, in the central part of the building.
The fact that the tower had been completely incorporated into the surrounding buildings offers a clear vision of how the medieval town had transformed over the centuries. These transformations also are exemplified in the façade walls of the Piccinni house as well as in those of countless other buildings in the historical centre. At first sight, the façade overlooking Piazza Mercantile appears to be a single unified front. A closer inspection, however, reveals that it is the result of late 19th-century modifications that incorporated the pre-existing building, and attempted to blend the structures architecturally. Signs of the chronological succession of structures joined together in time include; the diversity of materials used, the varying dimensions of the walls, the irregular layout of the rooms, the traces of crescent-shaped arches on the inside and on the façades. As the buildings were unified, the spaces left unoccupied in the original medieval city became sparser. The building had risked partial demolition under the 1930 "City Building and Demolition Plan” designed to demolish a substantial number of buildings in the old town in an attempt to “thin out” the old city. Fortunately, the historical and cultural relevance of the sites prevailed, and the plan was revised, leaving walls and street divisions virtually unaltered. The intention to transform the illustrious composer’s childhood home into a house-museum for the citizens of Bari gave way to reconstruction work that started in the early 1980s and lasted for almost two decades. The architect Mauro Civita’s project involved the demolition of partition walls and accretions, re-building of the floors, and visual exposure of the most ancient parts of the building. For administrative reasons, the museum is currently (2016) not accessible to visitors.
From Viale Enzo Ferrari, continue in the direction of Strada Provinciale 204 / Viale Gabriele d'Annunzio / SP204.
Take Viale Europa, SS16, Via Napoli and Corso Vittorio Veneto in the direction of Piazza Mercantile in Bari.
Continue along Lungomare Augusto Imperatore. Piazza Ferrarese is on the right.
Walk towards Piazza Mercantile
From the toll booth at Bari Sud of the Autostrada A14,
Take E843, Viale Giuseppe Tatarella, the underpass Sottopassaggio Giuseppe Filippo, Via Brigata Regina
Continue along Lungomare Augusto Imperatore in the direction of Piazza Mercantile in Bari.
Piazza Ferrarese is on the right.
Walk towards Piazza Mercantile
AMTAB bus lines #2, #4, #10, #12, #12/, #21, and #35 stop near Piazza Ferrarese (continue on foot to Piazza Mercantile)
Lungomare Imperatore Augusto-Corso Vittorio Emanuele