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Bari

The city with unfolded wings
The chief town of Puglia (Apulia), Bari faces the sea and, seen from above, appears like a bird with unfolded wings, whose head is old Bari.
 
Bari
The seafront of BariCopyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
From the ancient name Barion, Bari has been inhabited by a long list of civilisations, ranging from the Romans to the Arabs, and then the Longobards, Byzantines and Saracens.
 
Bari
Church of St. Nicholas, Bari. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
Church of St. Nicholas
After the construction of the Church of San Nicola (St. Nicholas) in the XI century, Bari became one of the most vital centres of Christianity, a meeting place and point of arrival of the Crusades. The origins of this Church of the Patron saint - St. Nicholas - who is venerated not only by Catholics but also Orthodox and Protestant Christians, are unusual. The saint, who is considered the protector of sailors, died around 350 AD in Myra, an ancient city in Lycia in Asia Minor, at the time under the rule of the Muslims. His remains were removed by sailors from Bari and taken to the city on 9th May 1087. They were placed in a crypt and a large church dedicated to him was immediately built. Constructed in the beautiful and essential Puglia-Romanesque style, the church’s chancel features a stone altar that preserves his remains from which, for centuries, a liquid with miraculous effects continuously exudes. This so-called manna is distributed to worshippers in ampules. The church is open in the evening for guided visits every Saturday from 1st July to 30th September.
 
Each year, during the May Celebrations, the “translation of the relics” is remembered with the Caravella historic procession, which is animated by songs that have been handed down for generations. The saint is also celebrated on 6th December, the day of his death.
 
Bari
Cathedral of San SabinoCopyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
Cathedral of San Sabino
Similar in structure is the Cathedral of San Sabino, seat of the Archbishopric. The lower part of the façade of the cathedral has three XI century doorways, while the upper part is decorated with a rose window decorated with sculptures of monsters and fantastical figures. The crypt preserves the relics of the Saint. There are also many striking rupestrian churches and hypogea - underground structures acting as burial sites - dispersed around the city, such as the Rupestrian Church of Santa Candida, the Temple of San Giorgio, the Hypogeum of Madia Diana and the Jewish Hypogeum.
 
Other buildings worthy of note are the Petruzzelli Theatre, the Margherita Theatre, the Piccinni Theatre and Palazzo Fizzarotti, in sumptuous Venetian style in honour of the “Serenissima” for having freed the city from the Saracens in 1002.
 
Bari
Norman-Swabian CastleCopyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock 
Norman-Swabian Castle 
Another historic building is the Norman-Swabian Castle and its extraordinary stone bridge, which was built by the Normans in the XII century and restored by Frederick II between 1233 and 1240. Today the castle is the headquarters of the department of environmental, archaeological and historic heritage of Puglia, and houses an important Gallery of Plaster Casts (Gipsoteca - from the Greek gypsos=plaster) that date back from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century: mantles, capitals, sculpture fragments and ornamental and religious motifs inspired by the most important monuments of art in Puglia.
 
Palazzo Simi is located in a part of the city of considerable historical interest, which corresponds to the former Vicinio di San Gregorio dei Falconi (as noted in Bari's land register for 1598/99) stretching from the cathedral to the southern limit of the city walls. The building's current appearance reflects the period from the 16th to the 17th centuries during which the construction of palaces in Bari thrived, but is in fact the end result of a long process of extending and joining together, with the original central part of the building dating back to medieval times.
 
Bari
Bari. View of the Port. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
After the rule of the Normans, Angevins, Aragonese and Spanish, in 1813 the city, with Gioacchino Murat, began its town-planning evolution, constructing a new district.
Today Bari, thanks to its port, airport and the Fiera del Levante trade fair centre, is one of the most active towns of the area with connections to the entire Mediterranean basin. The Fiera del Levante is an organisation that hosts some thirty events a year, at which almost 2,000 exhibitors participate a year as well as around half a million visitors.  
 
The orecchiette pasta with turnip tops. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
Traditional products
The local cuisine of Bari still offers many traditional recipes, such as “riso, patate e cozze” (rice, potatoes and mussels), orecchiette pasta with turnip topschicory with broad bean puree and the very rare local lentils, known as “cicerchia”.
 
The most famous sweets are “cartellate”, which are made of fried dough immersed in hot wine and prepared especially at Christmas. They have a symbolic significance in Christian traditions, representing for some the swaddling clothes of Baby Jesus and for others the crown of thorns of crucified Christ.  
 
Text by Anna Glik
Foto: Sisterscom.com,
Shutterstock 
Video: www.viaggiareinpuglia.it

Copyright © Sisterscom.com

Published on Avion Tourism Magazine

Updated July 2020

 

 
Tourism Board
www.viaggiareinpuglia.it 
 
 
Where to sleep in Bari
BariBari. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
Bari is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
 
STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
DISTRICTS
Hotels in the districts
 
 
AIRPORT
Hotels near the airport
 
where to go
Monuments  
Bari
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
BASILICA OF ST. NICHOLAS
The building has a basilica-style structure with three naves and a continual transcept ending in three apses of simple Benedictine design. Of Nordic derivation, the gallery designed for women is the first of its kind to appear in Puglia. The inside of the Basilica is made especially attractive by the numerous supporting capitals of Byzantine designs, enlivened by figurative decorations and capitals in the shape of washbowls which bear motifs and forms of classical matrix with other markings of Anglo-Norman miniatures.
www.basilicasannicola.it 
Bari
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
PICCINNI THEATRE

The Piccinni Theatre is the oldest theatre in Bari and can host more than 800 people. Inaugurated on 30 May 1854, with the performance of Donizetti’s Poliuto, in 1855 it was entitled to Niccolò Piccinni, renowned musician from Bari. With the passing of time, the municipal structure proved to be too small for the new needs of the city, so that it was necessary to build a new theatre, the Petruzzelli, inaugurated in 1903.
www.teatropubblicopugliese.it

 
BariCopyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
SAN SABINO CATHEDRAL

Three XI-century portals open up in the lower section of the plain façade. The upper section is decorated by a rose window with an arched lintel lavishly decorated with monsters and imaginary creatures. Inside, the church has three nave divided by sixteen pillars holding huge arches. The crypt preserves, in the altar, the relics of San Sabino and the icon of the Madonna Odegitria.
www.arcidiocesibaribitonto.it 

Bari
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
NORMAN-SWABIAN CASTLE
The castle was built by the Normans in the XII century and restored by Federico II between 1233 and 1240. The castle, located in a central area of the chief town in Puglia, is a spectacular testimony to medieval construction that offers tourists the chance to visit one of the most interesting fortresses in the region. You can admire the stone bridge which leads to the castle.
www.sabap-ba.beniculturali.it
 
Museums
CIVIC HISTORY MUSEUM
Situated inside a medieval palace, the many assets make this museum a unique and characteristic place in which to cultivate and sense of belonging to the community. A tour of the collections in the museum is a journey through history: from the eighteenth-century paintings belonging to the aristocratic Tanzi family, depicting famous personalities of the noble line, to the rich armoury with pieces ranging from the time of the Bourbons to the modern age.
www.comune.bari.it 
PHOTOGRAPHY MUSEUM
The area of Puglia is illustrated through the photos found in Bari Polytechnic Photography Museum. The exhibition offers fine art photographs, prints donated by the students of the Polytechnic at the end of photographic exhibitions, photos by photographers from Puglia and old acquisitions. The museum was established in 2006 following the rapid growth of the Photographic Archive of the Architecture and Town-planning Department of the Polytechnic.  
www.museofotografiapoliba.blogspot.it  
PROVINCIAL ART GALLERY
The “Corrado Giaquinto” Provincial Art Gallery of Bari was officially opened on 12 July 1928 after the nucleus of paintings already kept in the Art Gallery connected to the Provincial Archaeology Museum, which opened in 1875, was combined with other paintings given as a deposit by churches and convent in Puglia, works loaned by the National Galleries of Naples and Rome and several acquisitions made by Bari Provincial Administration. Currently the Art Gallery houses extensive documentation on the art of Puglia from the XI to the XX century.
www.pinacotecabari.it  
Excursions
Alberobello
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
ALBEROBELLO
Alberobello stands to the southern part of Bari province. The town was founded in the 15th century by Acquaviva-D’Aragona, two counts of Conversano, on land that was originally an oak forest. A typical feature of Alberobello are the “trulli”, white dry-stone houses with conical roofs made of lapidary stones. In 1996 the city of Alberobello, the heart of the Murgia dei Trulli, was declared a Heritage of Humanity site by Unesco.
Castellana Grotte
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
CASTELLANA GROTTE
Castellana stands in Bari province inland on the edge of a closed karstic hollow. Historical sources testify the presence of a urban settlement back during the X Century.  The town was donated by Norman Count Goffredo to the Benedictine convent of Conversano, under which remained until 1400s. De Bellis family, owner of a textile industry and a wine-producing business, has had a significant role for Castellana economic and cultural life during the last Century.

 

 

Recommended tours
Bari street food
BariStreet Food. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
BARI STREET FOOD
3-hour tour to explore the hidden corners of Bari with a local guide and taste local products along the way. It starts from the historic center with the Basilica of San Nicola and the Cathedral of San Sabino to get to the modern French part of the city, near the promenade with opera houses and several shops. Including 1 glass of wine and several tastings. Street food walking tour in Bari.
 
Matera
Matera. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
MATERA
Matera day tour from Bari by minivan. On site visit with a certified guide to discover the stone city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with caves, the old quarters of Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, the Matera Cathedral of 1230 and the panorama of the Murgia Materana ParkFrom Bari: excursion of 1 day in Matera.
 
Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
CASTEL DEL MONTE
4-hour tour from Bari to explore Castel del Monte with a local guide. The castle, which stands in Andria, is a 13th-century citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Puglia, built by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen of Swabia with 8 octagonal towers. Tour from Bari to Castel del Monte.
 
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