The influence of Arab culture in Puglia is very clear, especially on cathedral decorations, goldsmith’s art, mosaic art, and ivories. Numerous patterns are directly obtained from the precious weft of the elegant Sasanian cloth and from the valuable reliquaries that arrived in Puglia from the Byzantine, Crusade and Islamic overseas lands. Sculptures of exotic eastern animals decorate Romanesque windows and portals. The same Kufic characters of the Arabic alphabet are used as a decorative motif in frescoes, church mosaics or on bronze doors.
Bari, Basilica di San Nicola, interior, chancel: Kufic characters used as decoration are just observable in the holiest part of the church.