Call it the city of St. Nicholas, the university town of southern Italy or the economic centre of the south, second only to Naples. Whatever your focus, Bari Italy is a southern port city with its older section seated in a headland flanked by two harbours on the Adriatic Sea.
Bari is an historic city that is however, youthful and vibrant, thanks to its urban nature, university, migrant populations, and nightlife. The capital city of the province of Bari, in the region of Puglia, Bari is built up on the sea and the harbours are coloured by the sail boats bobbing in the headland waters. This harbor is perfectly enveloped by the sandstone buildings on its shores.
Arrive in Bari by train or plane and use this medium sized city of about 320,000 as a route to Greece or Albania given its placement on the Adriatic. Or, give Bari some focus as it has lots to offer every sort of traveler and it neighbours other Italian cities reachable by train that are worth a look too.
In Bari, dive into local history in old town where the Basilica di San Nicola houses the remains of St. Nicholas – Santa Claus of course. Go to the historic centr to visit Bari Castle, a 12th-century Norman-Swabian castle. The historic series of narrow winding laneways in this area are within a network of thick medieval walls and entryways. This is a great place to enjoy a fresh fish meal near the harbour. The Church of Sabino, a 12th-century building dedicated to Saint Sabinus of Canosa, whose relics were brought to the city in the 9th century. Piazza Mercantile, is a social hub in Bari, located at the crossroads of Vittorio Emanuele II avenue, the promenade Augusto Imperatore and Piazza del Ferrarese square.
Bari’s nightlife is centered on appetitive establishments that open between eight and nine in the evening since locals eat a later evening meal. For a live music experience try the small but locally popular and centrally located Noise. There are a few dance clubs but real classic discos are found out of town with locals in Bari preferring to wander the small villages by the sea, such as Trani, Poliniano a Mare, Molfetta and Bisceglie, to enjoy an evening drink. For lovers of dining al fresco, Bari is a dream. It’s almost never cold and the warm weather invites patio dining and drinking with plenty of easy going trattorias that are never far from the sea.
The generous boulevards of Bari make the city a pleasure to walk and why not add a little shopping while you stroll. With all the best Italian clothing labels as well as cheaper fair and even second hand gems, followed by fresh food, pottery and straw basket markets in the Old Town. There is something for every interest and taste along via Sparano for dearer threads, or Corso Cavour and via Manzoni for cheaper or vintage items.
Visit this hub of southern Italy by plane or train, for shopping, nightlife, and history or seaside life; linger here and enjoy Bari’s Adriatic neighbours too.