One of the most emblematic places in the city is the port, characterized not only by its historical bollards, but also its lighthouse, which is one of the oldest of the Adriatic. In the past just as today, the coast is a place of important economic activities, including shipbuilding, fishing and selling fish.
The fishing fleet was one of the largest of the Adriatic Sea. This is documented by the shipyards, which today are still engaged in producing iron vessels, restoing antique boats, and designing custom-made decor in collaboration with artisans, designers and naval engineers.
These activities are still accompanied by the traditional production out of wood. Molfetta boasts of the ancient tradition of shipwrights, whose yards are still found on the La Maddalena beach on the slipway, designed in 1880 by Corrado de Judicibus. Today Molfetta continues to be named among cities with a very active and distinctive fish market.
The market is on Quay San Domenico, housed in a large building built in 1929 with an austere and regular façade. Every night in the market you can hear the fish auction: shouts of products for sale echoing through the great halls in a language of unknown words and ways, understandable only by the insiders.
Today that ancient world has been partly digitized and provides very modern online sales of fish including both fresh or preserved products that maintain the culinary tradition as well as products that were traditionally considered “poor” food. The maritime activities are commemorated at Fabbrica San Domenico, where you can find the Permanent Ethnographic Exhibition of the Sea. Here you can explore the traditional maritime production and activities, which include not only fishing, but also maritime life as a whole.