Legend has it that Andria was founded by the mythological Greek hero Diomedes,while historical sources show that the area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and that it was colonized by the Iapygians and the Ancient Greeks, and subsequently fought over by the Byzantines and the Lombards. However, above all the city remains perpetually linked to the name of Frederick II, the great Holy Roman Emperor. He was known as the “puer Apuliae” (“son of Apulia”) and he rewarded Andria for the loyalty that it had always shown him by making it one of his favourite places of residence. His wife Yolande of Brienne gave birth to his son Conrad IV in Andria and she is now buried in the crypt of the cathedral. Nonetheless, it was on a nearby hill that Frederick II left the most famous and enigmatic monument in his beloved Andria: Castel del Monte, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With more than 100,000 inhabitants, Andria is the fourth biggest city in Apulia. Since 2004, it has been the joint capital of the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani along with Barletta and Trani. Andria lies at 151 metres above sea level and just 10 kilometres from the Adriatic Sea. It is at the lower end of the Murgia karst topographic plateau which runs from the North to the South of the region. 12,000 hectares of the vast municipal territory are included in the Alta Murgia National Park.
Andria has a Mediterranean climate, with temperatures that never drop below 0°C in the winter or exceed 30°C in the summer. The annual rainfall stands at around 597 mm and the spring and autumn offer the best conditions for vegetative development by typical wild species and broad expanses of olive groves and vineyards.
Andria is one of the leading olive growing areas in Apulia, in terms of both quantity and quality. In the Andria area, there are 20,000 hectares of olive groves. They contain approximately 3 million plants, which produce around 80 million kg of olives a year. It has been calculated that as much olive oil is produced in the Andria area as in the whole of Tuscany.