Michael York

Bari, located in eastern Italy at the heel of the boot, is an ancient city that surprises visitors with its wealth of attractions and its mundane (but quite fascinating) old town.

Tourism is not the only attraction of Bari. Its gastronomic possibilities are known throughout the Mediterranean and it focuses on the best and freshest ingredients, with wine, wheat and olive oil forming the basis of most dishes. For those looking to relax, there is no shortage of picturesque spots, with bars, cafes and restaurants with inviting terraces.

photo jsonchung/Flickr

Basic information on Bari

As a port city, Bari has been important for over 2000 years and was first mentioned in 181 BC. Chr. Chr. mentioned in historical documents, although archaeologists confirm that the city is much older. If your visit is in the summer, be well prepared with sunscreen and a hat, and don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids as the weather is very hot and sunny.

  • Country: Italy
  • Currency: Euro
  • Government: The Republic
  • Language : Italian is the official language, but many people in the tourism industry speak English and other languages.
  • Population: 324,198 (in 2017)
  • Religion: Catholicism
  • Weather: The hot Mediterranean summer

Harbour area

Cruise ships dock at a purpose-built terminal northwest of the picturesque old town, and Barivecchia is easily accessible on foot for most visitors. The walk takes place in the sun, so it is advisable to start early.

If you want to take the train to one of the nearby attractions or towns (some of the nearby villages are particularly nice), it is advisable to take a taxi to the station.

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Main attractions in and around Bari

The Basilica of Saint Nicholas: For nearly 1,000 years, the Basilica of Saint Nicholas has been built to house the relics of this incredibly famous saint. The exterior is sleek and square and looks more like a castle than an important church. The interior is in Romanesque style and has a beautifully painted and gilded ceiling. In the crypt under the main church is the tomb of St. Nicholas and other important people of the region.

Norman-Swabian castle: Constructed in 1132 by the Norman King Roger II, this impressive building has withstood the thick walls of kings, queens and emperors. The castle was rebuilt at least twice after the locals destroyed it during a revolt against the harsh rule of foreign kings.

An interesting story, perhaps a legend but probably based on truth, tells that Emperor Frederick II met Saint Francis of Assisi at the castle. The emperor sent a courtesan to Francis’ room to see what would happen in the secret place. When the saint sent the woman away, Fredrick was so impressed with Francis’ principles that they spent the rest of the night in deep conversation.

Although it is unlikely that you will speak to the saint as a visitor, you will enjoy the many hidden rooms, walls and passageways of the Norman Swab Castle.

Norman Swabian Castle – Photo: Dauno Settantaire/Flickr

Barivecchia (old town) : A maze of winding streets and alleys interspersed with pretty squares makes Barivecchia a pleasure to stroll through and discover. On a hot summer day, the narrow streets offer coolness and numerous cafes and bars invite you to linger.

There are a few attractions nearby, such as the basilica (see above), the cathedral and a few small museums, but much of Barivecchia’s charm remains to be discovered and explored. But it is impossible to get lost, because it is surrounded on three sides by water and on the fourth lies the majestic boulevard Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

Walk along the coast: The Lungomare Araldo Crollalanza, located east of Barivecchia and surrounded by the sea, is a beautiful promenade that follows the sea at about one kilometer from Barivecchia. The wide sidewalk has nice street lights and benches along the way, with plenty of places to stop for a cup of coffee or glass of wine in the afternoon.

Barletta: The coastal town of Barletta is just 40 minutes from Bari’s main train station and has beautiful beaches where you can spend the day relaxing by the sea. Several beach clubs fill the shoreline and charge modest amounts for renting chairs and umbrellas, about 10 euros a day. Each beach club also has a bar and restaurant, so it’s easy to get served.

While the beaches themselves are similar to the Atlantic Ocean in the US, the atmosphere at the Beach Club is fun and easy to enjoy a day in the sun!

READ MORE: 9 Popular Seaside Excursions in Naples, Italy

Matera: The old city of Matera, Sassi Matera, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is rightly world famous. Already 7000 b. In Sassi, houses, churches and shops have been carved out of the volcanic rock. Although most residents in the neighborhood have moved to more modern homes, their houses and streets are so reminiscent of the past that they are a favorite subject in movies and have been used countless times to describe Jerusalem. A visit to Sassy of Matera will surely leave a deep impression on any visitor.

To reach the resort from Bari, we recommend an excursion, as the train journey is long and requires a transfer. In addition, the tour offers intimate details that would otherwise escape the casual visitor.

Matera, Italy – photo by lorenzo click/flicker

Alberobello: Even if you’ve never heard of this city, chances are you’ve seen pictures of it. Small white houses with conical roofs fill the streets of the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are extremely picturesque and very interesting for visitors to walk around and soak up the unique atmosphere.

If you are tired of visiting the ancient cities of Europe and feel that they are all the same, Alberobello will definitely change your mind. The train ride from Bari’s main train station takes an hour and 45 minutes, but the journey is pleasant as it takes you through the Italian countryside. Additionally, your ship will likely offer excursions that you can purchase, or you can hire a local guide for the day to show you around in a private van.

Visitors to Bari will be delighted by the atmosphere of the old town, the delicious cuisine and the friendliness of the people. If your cruise includes a stopover, you are sure to please your eyes and your stomach!

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frequently asked questions

Is Bari, Italy, worth visiting?

Known for its narrow streets, old town, historical sites and intricate architecture, Bari is a charming Italian city that is definitely worth a visit.

Why is Bari, Italy, famous?

The Bari region is famous for its olive oil, garlic and fresh vegetables such as eggplant, beans, chickpeas, celery, fennel and chicory. Mixed together, they form minestrone, one of Italy’s most famous soups.

Is Bari Italy expensive?

Overview of the cost of living in Bari, Italy: … The cost per person is estimated at $752 (€634) per month, excluding rent. Bari is 39.62% cheaper than New York (excluding rental fees). Rents in Bari are on average 80.94% lower than in New York.

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