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Bari is a typical entry level to the Italian area of Puglia with practice, flight, and ferry connections to the remainder of the nation and past.
Guests used to only move by way of Bari on their approach to close by scenic hill cities, however that’s altering, and town is properly price together with in your Puglia journey.
Bari’s outdated city incorporates a maze of picturesque lanes, spectacular church buildings, and scrumptious avenue meals. We love immersing ourselves within the full of life ambiance.
On this Bari Italy journey information, I share our favorite issues to do in Bari together with the most effective meals, learn how to get there, the place to remain, and a map with all our suggestions.
The place is Bari, Italy?
Bari is the capital metropolis of Puglia (also called Apulia), a area within the far south of Italy (within the heel of its boot).
It’s positioned a five-hour drive southeast of Rome (4 hours by practice) and three hours from Naples.
In the direction of the top of this submit, I share a map and particulars on learn how to get to Bari.
What’s Bari Identified For?
Bari is called a significant transport hub in southern Italy with a global airport, main practice station, and ferry port.
It’s additionally recognized for its charming outdated city with a maze of slim streets the place native girls make recent pasta exterior.
The Basilica of Saint Nicholas is one among Bari’s most well-known sights because it homes the stays of St Nicholas. It’s an necessary pilgrimage vacation spot for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
Finest Issues to Do in Bari Puglia
1) Get Misplaced in Bari Vecchia (Outdated City)
My primary decide of the most effective issues to do in Bari is to wander the streets of Bari Vecchia, the compact outdated city on a peninsula jutting into the ocean.
The labyrinth of slim lanes could be very completely different from the broad, orderly grid of streets within the newer a part of Bari.
It has a full of life, lived-in really feel. This isn’t only a place for vacationers to admire the fantastic thing about the tiny piazzas, church buildings, and archways. Whenever you duck down a facet avenue you’re feeling such as you’re strolling by way of somebody’s front room.
Life is lived on the streets right here. Doorways are open, elders sit exterior, youngsters play on the road, washing dangles from strains. You’ll be able to hear households arguing and cooking and laughing.
Bari Vecchia has a barely chaotic vibe, however the power is enjoyable to immerse your self in. And because it’s principally pedestrianised, it’s a pleasure to wander.
Many of the high Bari sights detailed beneath are in Bari Vecchia.
2) Take a Strolling Tour with Meals Tastings
Taking a meals tour is one among our favorite methods to discover an Italian metropolis, so we signed as much as this Bari Road Meals Tour by Velo.
It was the least food-focused of the culinary excursions we’ve taken in Italy, and the one one the place we’ve gone hungry (till the very finish).
I do nonetheless advocate the tour, but it surely’s finest to think about it as a cultural strolling tour with just a few meals tastings.
In case you are brief on time, the tour takes you to the principle Bari sights and teaches you about its historical past in simply three hours. You’ll additionally strive a few of Bari’s most well-known meals together with focaccia and sgagliozze (extra on these beneath).
Our information was pleasant and educated and we did be taught loads concerning the metropolis.
We additionally acquired to hitch in with an area musician taking part in conventional tarantella music, which isn’t one thing we’d have been capable of do on our personal.
Test availability for the Bari Road Meals Tour right here.
3) Watch Recent Pasta Being Made
Area is proscribed in Bari Vecchia, so native girls started making and promoting recent pasta on the road exterior their properties.
Now nicknamed Strada delle Orecchiette after the regional “little ears” pasta they make, the pasta avenue is likely one of the most well-known locations to go to in Bari.
You’ll discover the pasta stalls on a tiny avenue known as Arco Basso, named for the archway that leads from Piazza Federico II Di Svevia (the place you’ll discover Bari’s Citadel).
Please be respectful when taking photographs of the pasta makers and purchase one thing from the stalls.
The recent pasta is dried and lasts as much as 15 days with out refrigeration (orecchiette price €2.50 for half a kilo on our go to), so you’ll be able to take some dwelling. Additionally they promote sun-dried tomatoes and taralli (a crunchy native snack).
We stayed at B&B Murex, which is conveniently positioned proper on Arco Basso.
4) Grasp Out within the Predominant Squares
An Italian piazza or sq. is all the time a hub for assembly pals and having drinks or dinner.
The 2 foremost squares in Bari Vecchia are Piazza Mercantile and Piazza del Ferrarese, which sit facet by facet.
In Piazza del Ferrarese you’ll be able to see the place the outdated indoor markets was once, now the Spazio Murat modern artwork gallery.
Simply south is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the dividing line between the outdated and new cities. There was as soon as a gate right here to separate the 2. You’ll be able to see the place the outdated partitions had been and the stays of the primary avenue from the thirteenth century.
In Piazza Mercantile you’ll be able to see the disturbing Colonna della Giustizia (Column of Justice). Within the sixteenth century, the column was used to punish debtors by tying them bare to the column for 3 days. You’ll be able to nonetheless see the marks from the ropes on the stone.
There are many bars and eating places within the two piazzas. We particularly loved sandwiches at Voglia Pane e Vino and antipasti at La Cecchina.
5) Pattern Native Focaccia
Making an attempt focaccia is a Bari should do as town has a number of the finest focaccia in all of Italy (solely Liguria rivals it).
The bread is topped with tomatoes and olives and glistens with native olive oil.
One of the best locations to strive Focaccia Barese are Panificio Fiore (our strolling tour stopped at this bakery that was once a Byzantine church) and Panificio Santa Rita (our B&B purchased it from right here each morning).
Each are finest within the morning when it’s freshly baked and nonetheless heat, however count on to queue. It’s price it!
6) Attempt Bari Road Meals
Bari is understood for its inexpensive, tasty avenue meals. In addition to focaccia, you’ll be able to strive sgagliozze, squares of fried polenta.
We tried them on our strolling tour from Le Sgagliozze di Donna Carmela on Largo Albicocca. You’ll be able to seize a bag to remove from the stall exterior the restaurant. Maria delle Sgagliozze is one other common spot.
Truthfully, we discovered sgagliozze slightly boring, however some individuals love them.
Even tastier (in our opinion) are panzerotti, fried dough filled with varied fillings similar to mozzarella and tomato. It’s like a fried model of a calzone (stuffed pizza) or a savoury doughnut.
You could find panzerotti throughout Bari. One of the best we had was at Pizzeria di Cosimo.
7) Feast at Largo Albicocca
Largo Albicocca is a tiny, picturesque piazza in Bari Vecchia that’s referred to as Piazza degli Innamorati (Sq. of the Lovers).
It actually has a romantic vibe with its strings of lights and old style lanterns.
Quiet by day, it comes alive within the evenings when locals flock right here for scrumptious meals.
Pizzeria di Cosimo serves up a number of the finest pizza we’ve ever had. It’s inexpensive (€4.50 for a margherita), easy, and ideal.
This isn’t a elaborate place to eat. You queue to put your order on the counter and get given a quantity, which it’s essential hear out for (in Italian) or look ahead to on the display screen.
The pizzas are available a field so you’ll be able to seize a seat at one of many plastic out of doors tables or perch on the steps within the piazza.
On a Sunday evening, it was pure chaos, and it took us an hour to get our pizza. Fortunately, we’d ordered a panzerotto as properly, and these come out extra shortly than the pizza. It was definitely worth the wait, and we returned just a few days later (a lot quieter on a Tuesday).
Pizzeria di Cosimo is open from 6.30pm to midnight and is closed on Mondays.
In the event you get hungry ready on your pizza, seize some takeaway scagliozze from the stand subsequent door.
8) Go to Basilica di San Nicola
Basilica di San Nicola is town’s most well-known church and one of many high issues to see in Bari.
The Twelfth-century church has a easy however imposing Romanesque facade. The hovering inside is crossed with arches, and the austere stone contrasts with the gold frescoed ceiling.
The crypt downstairs homes the bones of St Nicholas (yep, the one referred to as Father Christmas), which had been stolen from Turkey in 1087.
Many Orthodox pilgrims come right here, and it’s additionally necessary to locals, who have a good time St Nicholas with an enormous pageant each Could.
Entry to Basilica di San Nicola is free, and it’s open from 7am to eight.30pm.
9) See the Duomo
Bari’s Cathedral or the Basilica Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale San Sabino is often known as Il Duomo.
It has an identical Romanesque facade to Basilica di San Nicola and is surprisingly plain (if immense) inside.
Entrance is free, but it surely closes within the afternoons.
The bar on the piazza, Stefy’s Cathedral Espresso, is an efficient spot for a drink and to admire the carvings on the entrance of the Duomo.
10) Stroll on Bari’s Outdated Partitions
Previous Basilica di San Nicola you’ll discover stairs that take you as much as the outdated metropolis partitions, that are place for a stroll with sea views and a better perspective of town.
You may as well entry the partitions from additional down at B&B La Muraglia.
A very good place for a drink is La Ciclatera Sotto il Mare, a bar with out of doors seating overlooking the marina. Afterwards, if you wish to proceed strolling, head right down to the Lungomare.
11) Stroll the Bari Lungomare
Bari’s Lungomare (seafront promenade) is the longest in Europe at 15km (9.3 miles).
The broad walkway is good for a stroll, particularly round sundown. Within the mornings, it’s in full solar and a bit intense in the summertime warmth.
One of the best part to stroll is from close to Piazza del Ferrarese and previous Teatro Margherita and the outdated port with vibrant fishing boats.
You could possibly proceed all the best way to the favored Bari seashore, Pane e Pomodoro, which is 2km (1.2 miles) and 25 minutes from Teatro Margherita.
12) See Museo Teatro Margherita
In your stroll alongside Bari’s Lungomare you’ll come throughout Teatro Margherita, a particular pink constructing overlooking the fishing harbour.
It was in-built 1912 after the unique wood theatre burnt down in a hearth only a 12 months after opening.
It’s on pillars within the sea as there was already one other giant theatre within the metropolis and no different theatres had been allowed to be constructed on Bari land.
Whereas it now not features as a theatre, there are generally modern artwork exhibitions inside (examine within the close by vacationer info workplace).
13) Calm down on the Seaside
Whereas the most effective Puglia seashores are farther from town, if you’re on the lookout for some rest, Spiaggia Pane e Pomodoro (Bread and Tomato Seaside) is a good possibility.
It has powdery white sand and shallow clear water. We thought it was busy on a weekday morning in July however later realised how Puglia seashores get a lot busier than this.
In contrast to many seashores in Italy, Pane e Pomodoro is free, and also you’ll have to deliver your personal chairs and umbrella if wanted.
It’s a 30-minute stroll from Bari Vecchia, or there’s paid parking close by.
14) See Bari Citadel
I wouldn’t say the fort is a Bari should see, but it surely’s price strolling previous this imposing fortress on the sting of Bari Vecchia.
Castello Svevo di Bari was initially constructed by Norman King Roger II in 1132 and destroyed just a few many years later earlier than being rebuilt by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1233.
It’s surrounded by a moat besides on the facet that borders the ocean.
There’s a small museum inside with altering exhibitions, however we skipped it. Opinions are blended and you’ll’t stroll on the fort partitions.
15) Eat a Gelato
Reverse the fort is the most effective gelato in Bari at Antica Gelateria Gentile. The Chocolate Africano flavour with chunks of chocolate and cherry was superb.
This place will get busy so count on to queue, particularly on weekend evenings.
After we couldn’t get in on a Sunday evening, we walked to Gelateria Piccinni within the new a part of Bari. It wasn’t nearly as good as Gentile, but it surely was nonetheless gratifying and glorious worth (€1 for one flavour).
16) Store on Through Sparano
Whereas most of those high issues to do in Bari are within the historic centre, in the event you like procuring, head to Through Sparano within the fashionable half.
This pedestrianised procuring avenue options a mixture of designer names (Prada, Louis Vuitton) and extra inexpensive manufacturers, in addition to pavement cafes spilling out from Artwork Nouveau palaces.
17) Get pleasure from an Aperitivo
A night aperitivo is one among our favorite rituals in Italy. Having fun with a pre-dinner drink with snacks is a good way to take a break, watch Bari life unfold, and tide you over till the submit 8pm time for supper.
Bari will not be wanting locations to partake within the traditional Aperol Spritz. Piazza del Ferrarese is a full of life spot to go to with many bars with out of doors seating.
We loved Voglia Pane e Vino (additionally nice for a sandwich lunch) and Mercantile Nove.
For a sea view, head to La Ciclatera Sotto il Mare as a substitute.
Or if you’re on a decent funds, El Chiringuito is a quite simple bar subsequent to the outdated port the place younger Barese hang around.
You’ll have to sit down on the steps, however you gained’t discover cheaper than the €1.20 bottles of Peroni (it’s all concerning the beer right here).
Be aware that not like in northern Italy, you’ll have to pay additional on your aperitivo snacks.
Day Journeys from Bari
Bari could make an ideal base to discover Puglia, particularly in the event you don’t wish to rent a automobile.
Listed below are a number of the finest day journeys from Bari:
- Trani – A sublime seaside city half-hour north on the practice.
- Polignano a Mare – A spectacular small city perched on rocks above the ocean. It takes 15 to 45 minutes on the practice south from Bari.
- Monopoli – A reasonably seaside city simply south of Polignano.
- Matera – This metropolis of caves in neighbouring Basilicata is a should see. It’s price spending an evening or two right here, however it’s attainable as a day journey from Bari. It’s a one hour drive or 1 hour 45 minute practice journey from Bari. Or take this Matera day journey by minivan. See our Matera Italy journey information for extra particulars.
- Alberobello – The picturesque city of trulli is touristy however price visiting. It’s simpler by automobile from Bari (50 minutes), however buses and trains can be found (examine schedules upfront).
Our information to the finest locations to go to in Puglia has many extra concepts for exploring the area.
The place to Keep in Bari Italy
Whereas staying near Bari practice station is handy in the event you plan to take day journeys, I extremely advocate staying within the way more charming Bari Vecchia.
On our newest go to, we stayed at B&B Murex and couldn’t have requested for a greater location. It’s on the pasta avenue and across the nook from our favorite piazza Largo Albicocca. We may simply stroll in all places and it’s solely quarter-hour from the station.
It’s run by a pleasant younger couple who gave us a number of suggestions and meals suggestions.
There are 4 easy however beautiful rooms with a clear, recent really feel. There’s a shared fridge with free bottled water (unusually in glass, not plastic) and mushy drinks.
Breakfast on the roof terrace is nice and consists of freshly baked focaccia from an area bakery.
One other B&B that appears beautiful is La Muraglia, which is correct on town partitions with sea views.
Take a look at extra lodging choices in Bari right here.
How Lengthy to Spend in Bari
Bari Vecchia is compact and you’ll see the principle sights in half a day.
For many guests who’re attempting to see as a lot of Puglia as attainable in every week or two, one evening might be sufficient in Bari.
We stayed three nights on our final go to, although, and loved having extra time to wander and eat.
If you wish to use Bari as a base to discover Puglia, you possibly can simply spend 4-7 nights right here.
Attending to Bari
Bari is a superb entry level to Puglia.
Bari Karol Wojtyla Worldwide Airport (BRI) has flights from throughout Europe with funds airways like Easyjet, Ryanair, and Wizzair. It’s a 20-minute drive exterior town and taxis, buses, and a practice can be found.
Bari Centrale station has trains to Lecce (90 minutes), Rome (4 hours), Bologna (6 hours), and Milan (7.5 hours). To get to Naples (4 hours), you’ll doubtless have to alter in Caserta or take a bus.
Bari port has ferries to Greece, Albania, Croatia, and Montenegro.
Whereas I like to recommend hiring a automobile to discover Puglia, you would possibly wish to decide it up if you go away town as parking could be a problem.
In the event you do have to park, Piazzale Cristoforo Colombo Parking on the sting of the outdated city is likely one of the finest choices (paid in the course of the day and free at evening and on weekends).
On our newest journey, we flew into Bari, took a non-public switch to Matera and again to Bari (after 4 nights in Matera) and solely collected our rent automobile when leaving Bari. The taxi made the journey straightforward and we didn’t have to fret about parking in both metropolis.
We often use Rental Automobiles and Kayak to seek out the most effective offers on rent automobiles.
Bari Italy Map
Is Bari Value Visiting?
Sure, Bari is properly price visiting in your Puglia journey! The outdated city is a superb, chaotic maze to discover, the meals is excellent, and it’s straightforward to go out on day journeys.
I hope this submit has given you some concepts on what to do in Bari. Whereas there aren’t a ton of main sights, it’s a wonderful place for wandering and consuming.