Bari (Bari dialect: Bare) is the capital of the Apulia region of Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. With a population of 327,000 (in 2015), it's the second largest city in Southern Italy after Naples. It's also the core of a metropolitan area exceeding one million inhabitants and a bustling commercial center and port.
Bari is the largest and most important city of Apulia and stands on the Adriatic coast. It's mainly famous for being one of the exit doors of Italy, where travellers leave on ferries for neighbouring countries. The city authorities, however, have been trying to raise its tourism profile and awareness of Bari's old town, which has retained its ancient Medieval plan and contains many historic buildings and sites. The old town was the heart of pre-Roman and Roman Bari, and it is now possible to find several hip bars and restaurants open "from dusk till dawn" in this once dark and unsafe zone.
The city had strong Greek influences and, once it passed under Roman rule in the 3rd century BC, it acquired strategic significance as the junction between the coastal road and the Via Traiana and as a port for eastward trade; a branch road to Tarentum led from Barium. Its harbour, mentioned as early as in 181 BC, was probably the principal district in ancient times, as it still is, and was the centre of a fishery. The first historical bishop of Bari was Gervasius who was noted at the Council of Sardica in 347. The bishops were dependent on the Patriarch of Constantinople until the 10th century.
The dialect of Bari belongs to the upper-southern Italo-Romance family and coexists with the Italian language, although they are generally used in different contexts.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- 1 Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI IATA). Bari's airport is modern and well-organized. Carriers include Alitalia, Lufthansa, Ryanair, and Wizzair. A taxi to the centre costs €25-30. A direct railway link connects Bari airport to the main station Bari Centrale. There are on average two trains per hour. A single ticket costs €5. If you are willing to walk 30 minutes to the next stop (Bari Viale Europa), a ticket from there to Bari Centrale costs only €1.10.
Check www.trenitalia.com for time tables and prices. The main staion is 2 Bari Centrale, in Piazza Aldo Moro. Bari's station is well connected to most Italian cities (Rome, Milan, Bologna, Naples, Foggia, Brindisi, Lecce, Taranto). Inside the station, there are information points for tourists, ticket machines, bars and waiting rooms. Check the websites of Trenitalia and Ferrotramviaria for further information. There are also local trains arriving from Ostuni, Brindisi, and Lecce to the south.
- From the north: coming from the Highway Autostrada Adriatica A14, exit at the Bari-Nord tool booth, follow signs for Bari ring road in the direction of Brindisi-Lecce-Taranto, take the ring road of Bari (SS16).
- From the south: coming from the Highway Autostrada Adriatica A14, exit at the Bari-South tool booth, follow signs for Bari ring road in the direction of the San Nicola Stadium, take the ring road of Bari (SS16).
Bari is the destination for ferries incoming from the Greek port of Patra and Igoumenitsa. If you are traveling on a Eurorail during the low season, the cost is €16, during the mid season, €31. A normal ticket to Igoumenitsa is about €29 on the deck and in low - season. There are also ships to Bar and Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and to Durrës and Vlora (Albania). Ferry operators are either Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries or Jadrolinija. An up-to-date site with international ferry schedules is here.
Bari is composed of four urban sections. In the northern city area, there is the Old Town (Bari Vecchia) between two modern harbours, with the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035–1171) and the Hohenstaufen Castle built for Frederick II, which is now also a major nightlife district. In the southern district, the Murat quarter (erected by Joachim Murat), the modern heart of the city, is laid out on a rectangular grid-plan with a promenade on the sea and the major shopping district.
- AMTAB (Azienda Mobilità e Trasporti Autobus Bari). There are many public buses. A ticket costs €1 (€1.50 if bought on board).
On Sundays, parking is free.
In Bari there are so many things to see, especially the Old Town (Bari Vecchia), or the Cathedral of San Sabino, a Romanesque-style church. It has the longest seafront promenade in Italy, as well as alleyways, historical buildings, marvellous architectures and more than 30 churches, among which some outstanding ones like the Basilica of Saint Nicholas which is considered to be one of the prototypes of the Apulian Romanesque architecture. It is highly suggested to take a walk along the waterfront, on the top of the old city walls, which passes by the Fortino of Saint Antony (an old fort that has been turned into a modern art gallery) and the former Monastery of Saint Scolastica (which belong to the local university). The vast majority of the churches in Bari Vecchia are closed to tourists. They are opened up on selected festivities, including Good Friday and the Solemnity of All Saints).
- 1 Basilica of Saint Nicholas (Basilica di San Nicola). This romanic church with a gold ceiling and a crypt contains many medieval attractions, including the magnificent cathedra of Bishop Elias.
- On the same square, also the Palazzo del Catapano and the Church of Saint Gregory are worth a visit).
- 2 Bari Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Sabino), Piazza dell'Odegitria, 1, ☏ . A Roman church even older than St. Nicolas', though later refurbished in baroque style, and equally interesting. Free.
- Castello normanno-svevo (Swabian Castle, or Houhenstaufen Castle), ☏ . The symbolic fortress of the city: built in the 12th century, destroyed and then rebuilt during the 13th century by Frederick II.
- Chiesa di Sant’Anna (Catholic Church of St. Anna), Str. Palazzo di Città, 63, ☏ . St. Anna Church was built between 1246-1247 as a synagogue, known as “Scola Grande”. It was later converted into a Christian Church and entrusted to the Confraternity of St. Anna. Finally, in 2009, the Church became a museum.
Its history is rooted to ancient times, when there was a significant Jewish community in Apulia, mostly composed of traders and farmers. During the early Middle Ages, the Jewish culture experienced an intense growth and several Talmudic schools were established in Apulia. Rabbenu Tam considered them to be very prestigious institutions, declaring that: “For out of Bari goes forth the Law and the word of the Lord from Otranto".
In the 11th century Apulia fell under the rule of the Normans and, after a couple of centuries, to the Swabians, with Frederick II, also known as "Stupor Mundi" (“Wonder of the World”), who protected the Jewish community and gave Jews rights by reason of their presence in politics and their personal history.
The Angioinians, instead, ordered the forced conversion of most Jews to Catholicism and, when Naples and part of Southern Italy fell to the Spanish in 1510, the Jewish community was completely expelled.
The Church is located in the local Giudecca and is also close to the city harbour and the Cathedral.
Bari is a very lively city, with a wide range of clubs, pubs, bars, discos very popular among young people and adults.
Many pubs are found in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II or in Piazza del Ferrarese; there are also many discos, like the Reef, on the seafront in the direction of San Giorgio.
A popular summer tourist destination is "Torre Quetta”. You can get to Torre Quetta easily, taking the train from Bari station (direction: Fasano) and getting off at Bari Torre Quetta station on the seafront of Bari, a destination much loved not only by "baresi" (locals) but especially by tourists that love to spend an evening by the sea.
If you are not a nightlife lover, you can spend an evening in the Old Town of Bari, strolling down the most famous streets and squares, such as Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Sparano or Piazza del Ferrarese.
- 1 Teatro Petruzzelli, Corso Cavour, 12, ☏ . The largest theatre of the city and the fourth Italian theatre by size. Its season feature high quality productions of prose, opera, ballet and classical music.
- Festa di San Nicola Patrono di Bari (Saint Nicholas Patron Saint's Day). The Saint of the city is Saint Nicholas. He is celebrated by the Catholic Church on December 6. In Bari, several masses take place early in the morning (as early as 04:00) of December 6. A huge crowd and lots of fast food stands fill the old town through the night. The city's main celebration of Saint Nicholas, however, takes place in May 6–8 with historical reconstructions, popular music and a two-day fireworks contest. For this event many pilgrims come from all over the world.
- Fiera del Levante (Lungomare Starita, 4). Hosted yearly during September, the Fiera del Levante is no longer just an exhibition, where you can also find stands for many countries in the world, but now also a place for hosting conferences and musical events.
- Bari International Film Festival. It is an annual film festival held since 2009.
Pottery, bags, shoes, interesting (and underpriced) red wines.
Local cuisine is based on three typical agricultural products found within the Apulia region, namely wheat, olive oil and wine, beyond being even enriched by the wide variety of fruit and vegetables produced locally.
Local flour is used for homemade bread and pasta production including, most notably, the famous orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), also known as recchietelle or strascinate, very famous accompanied by cime di rape, but also chiancarelle (orecchiette of different sizes) and cavatelli. Homemade dough is used for baked calzoni stuffed with onions, anchovies, capers and olives.
Fried panzerotti with mozzarella, the famous focaccia alla barese with tomatoes, little savoury taralli, friselle and sgagliozze, fried slices of polenta, all make up the rich Bari culinary repertoire.
Vegetable minestrone, chick peas, broad beans, chicory, celery and fennel are also often served as first courses or side dishes. Meat dishes and the local Barese ragù often include lamb and pork. Pasta al forno, a baked pasta dish, is very popular in Bari and was historically a Sunday dish, or a dish used at the start of Lent when all the rich ingredients such as eggs and pork had to be used for religious reasons. The recipe commonly consists of penne or similar tubular pasta shapes, a tomato sauce, small beef and pork meatballs and halved hard-boiled eggs. The pasta is then topped with mozzarella or similar cheese and then baked in the oven to make the dish have its trademark crispy texture. Other typical foods include patate riso and cozze and the popular panzerotti.
- Vini e Cucina, Via Roberto il Guiscardo, Bari. An old and very informal restaurant in the old town. Traditional, non-posh cuisine. Simple four-course menu for about €15.
- Due Archi. Cheap and simple. Conceptionally very similar to Vini e Cucina.
- Le Travi. Same as Due Archi.
- 1 La Parilla De Juan, Piazza Mercantile, 21. Mexican food.
- CalDò, Strada Palazzo di Città, 16. To eat a delicious pizza.
- Venezia 40, Via Venezia, 40. To eat tasty panzerotti.
Bari suffers from not having a good selection of cheap accommodation. Regardless, the budget options available all seem clean and modern if not a little overpriced compared to the rest of Italy.
If you are in Bari and looking for some cheap place to sleep (less than €25/night/person) it can be quite a problem.
- 1 Olive Tree hostel, Via Scipione Crisanzio, 90, ☏ . Wifi, lockers, free breakfast, outgoing host. €20.
- 2 Bari Belle Camere, and Cosy Rox, Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 40 (Turn right out of the train station to travel east, walk two blocks and find the orange and grey building on the other side of the walk bridge), ☏ . Cosy Rox are a couple of residences operated for overnight stays and short term rentals. To stay you will need to visit the main hostel (Sumas Bla hostel) at 40 Piazza Luigi di Savoia, from where you will be directed to the place where you will stay. The residence on Via Matteo Renato Imbrianni has private rooms, good atmosphere, clean, modern and warm with shared kitchen and bathroom, and free Wi-Fi. Francesco, the owner is super helpful and a welcoming host and has a dog. Ask if you can help for 3 or 4 hours a day to have a discount or for 6 hours in change of food and accommodation. €20/25 bed, €40/50 double room.
- Magica, Via Gioacchino Murat (near the Normanno-Svevo castle). €20.
- Bed and breakfast F.G., Via palo 77, ☏ . Professes to have clean, well-maintained large rooms, friendly staff, delicious breakfast offerings, high-speed wireless internet access, in-room refrigerators, air conditioning, saphonelite TV and video players that are delivered without additional cost. €30.
- 3 Savoia International lt Bari Stazione, Piazza Luigi di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi, 24. This B&B has a great location. Near the accomodation there are some popular points of interest like Ferrarese Square, Mercantile Square, Bari Port.
- 4 B&B Cavour 124, Corso Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, 124, ☏ . This B&B is really close to Bari Cathedral and the centre of Bari is 1 km away from the venue.
- 5 Room 110 Bari, Corso Cavour, 110, ☏ . Room 110 is set next to the centre of Bari. It is really close to Ferrarese Square.
- 6 Hotel Boston, Via Nicolò Piccinni, 155, ☏ . One block from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, ten minutes to the old town. Rooms are spacious but fairly basic. Generous breakfast. There is a small supermarket across the street. €90 for a double.
- 7 Hotel City, Via de Rossi, 186, ☏ . Near the University of Bari and a 7-minute walk from the Central Station.
- 8 Hotel Adria, Via Luigi Zuppetta, 10, ☏ . 70 m from Corso Cavour. Also the historic centre and St Nicholas Cathedral are very close to the Hotel.
- 9 Hotel Cristal, Via Gian Battista Trevisani, 190, ☏ . A 5-minute walk from the centre of Bari.
- 10 Hotel Terranobile Meta Resort, Via Bitritto, 101 (Bari ring freeway - Exit 10 A), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Spa resort a few kilometres from downtown, with wellness centre and swimming pools.
- 11 Hotel Oriente Bari, Corso Cavour, 32, ☏ , fax: , ✉ booking@orienteHotelbari.it. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Four-star accommodation behind the famous Petruzzelli Theatre, in the city centre, a few blocks away from the sea line; with 75 bedrooms divided into double classic, deluxe and suites, and with large public areas, internet connection, meeting and ballrooms and a panoramic terrace. Also available for weddings and special occasions.
- 12 The Nicolaus Hotel Bari, Via C.A. Ciasca, 27, ☏ , ✉ info@nicolausHotel.com. 3.7 km from the historic centre of Bari. Some rooms have a great view of the city.
- 13 Palace Hotel Bari, Via Lombardi, 3, ☏ , ✉ info@palaceHotelbari.it. 1 km from the centre of Bari and 0.6 km from Basilica of Saint Nicholas.
- 14 iH Grande Albergo Delle Nazioni, Lungomare Nazario Sauro, 7, ☏ , ✉ frontoffice.nazioni@ih-Hotels.com. 1.6 km from Port of Bari; the centre of Bari is 2 km away.
Bari Vecchia is a beautiful quarter but because of the narrow, crowded streets and the presence of tourists, it is the preferred place for local pickpocketers. Sometimes at night there could be drunk people in the nightlife area.
- Albania, Via Pasquale Villari, 50, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 09:00-14:00.
- Belgium, Via Napoli, 353, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-13:00.
- Brazil, Via Dalmazia, 159/B, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. By appointment.
- Bulgaria, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Costa Rica, Via Andrea da Bari, 141, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. By appointment.
- Greece, Via Giovanni Amendola, 172/C, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mexico, Largo Nitti Valentini, 3, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. By appointment.
- Spain, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 179, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-12:30 & 16:00-18:00.
- Sweden, Via Dante Alighieri, 138, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M 09:00-10:00.
- Switzerland, Piazza Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi, 41/A, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. By appointment.
Nice towns to discover around Bari are Matera, Gravina, Martina Franca and Alberobello. Trani (with a truly impressive Cathedral), Molfetta, Giovinazzo to the North and Mola di Bari, Polignano a Mare and Monopoli to the South are closer to Bari and also worth a visit. There are many direct trains a day. Ticket to Matera or Alberobello is about €4 in one direction.
|Routes through Bari|
|Bologna ← Pescara ←||N S||→ Taranto|
|Padua ← Foggia ← Trani ←||N S||→ Brindisi → Lecce → Otranto|
|Tolve ← Gravina di Puglia ←||W E||→ END|
|END ←||N S||→ Casamassima → Taranto|