An outstanding example of a typical Bari architecture, Palazzo Simi, is located in a space already occupied by previous monumental, religious and civil buildings. The palace was built on the remains of an anonymous Byzantine church of the tenth century dedicated to St. Gregory of Falconibus according to notarial sources, of which you can see, in the subsoil of the palace, the three apses and the altar, recently reconsecrated for worship. Renovated several times and reconstructed in its monumental spaces, is now home to cultural exhibitions, events and initiatives that find space in its large rooms.
Palazzo Simi takes its name from the noble family of Simi de Burgis, who bought it in 1670 and lived there until the early twentieth century.
The wall decoration found in the lower part of the central apse is very interesting: fragmentary figures of four Church Fathers in richly decorated bishop’s garments and vivid colors, which stand out on the blue field of the seabed.
The archaeological area, underground, at a depth of about 2.50 m, is accessed through staircase that runs along the old oven of the palace, serving the neighborhood until a few decades ago and now turned off but framed by some ceramics for domestic use, tableware and kitchen, contemporary to the palace, found during archaeological excavations.
Since 1999, Palazzo Simi has housed the Operations Centre for Archaeology, a branch of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Apulia.