Although it is not so difficult to reach Bari, I didn’t have the chance to visit this city till now.
Bari is a small city in the beautiful and charming Italy and it is part of Puglia region.
During our landing, the only thing that we could see was the green color of the olive trees. Puglia is very famous for its charming olive groves.
Once we exited the airport, we went directly to rent a car and to visit the region. First, we went to Matera and in the evening we reached our base location which was Alberobello. It was only the next day after visiting Polignano a Mare, that we reached Bari, where we stayed for few hours.
The best way to visit Puglia region is to get accommodation in Bari because here you can find most of the connection through the entire region.
How much time do you need to visit Bari?
It is a very small city, and you can visit it in just one day.
From the train central station up to the sea, you can walk fo about 25-30 min, passing the commercial area and the old city.
What cities can you visit close to Bari?
- Polignano a Mare
- Martina Franca
How to reach it?
Bari is not the museum type of city. It’s a city to be felt and you have to enjoy the Italian street life: to have a coffee in a plaza, to lose yourself among the narrow streets of the city or to enjoy the sea fresh air.
Bari airport si small and modern one and it’s named after Pope Ioan Paul II.
- Bus no 16 The cheapest way to reach the city (EUR 1) and it takes about 35-40 minutes
- Express bus- It cost EUR 4 and it takes about 30 minutes.
- Light metro- Leaves every 40 minutes, cost EUR 5 and it take about 20 minutes
What can you do in Bari?
Although we spend only a few hours in Bari, I tried to put together some interesting things that you can do while here.
- Stroll in Barivechhia
This is the city’s main point of interest.
There is a saying in Bari: “Se Parigi avesse il mare, sarebbe una picola Bari”, meaning “If Paris would have sea, it would have been a little Bari”. Well, I don’t know what to say about this saying, since the two are quite different.
Bari looks a little like Naples. Houses have no lobby, you enter directly from the street in the kitchen or living room, and most people keep their doors opened. Passing on the streets, you can see their entire home, you can smell cooked food or freshly washed clothes.
I especially loved the little courtyards between the houses, and they looked very cozy to me.
Bari is an old historic city having layers upon layers of history architecture resulting in a style that is a mix of Medieval, Byzantine, Romanesque and Baroque styles. The old city feels like a maze of winding streets, which reminded me of the medinas in Morocco, with religious reliquaries around every corner (the ones devoted to Mary have blue ceilings with stars). The building colors are warm and look up to see laundry drying. Many families have been living in these homes for generations, and you can tell just by strolling the streets that everyone is friends with their neighbors. There are even public ovens for baking your own bread without having to make your home too warm. It’s fascinating to think that not long ago this city was considered to be dangerous – I would never have guessed from my visit and clearly, the city has come a long way!
During our walk on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, in the heart of the historic center, we were struck by the beautiful Palazzo Fizzarotti, a building that stands out for its neo-gothic Venetian style, one of the city’s jewels. The building, in fact, can’t be visited but it is the home to a multi-center. It is really fascinating building.
- Enjoy a cappuccino close to Lungomare
Almost every seaside city in Italy has a lungomare, which is a promenade close to the sea. Italians love their walks here. And we could enjoy it to if it wasn’t for the freezing wind, so the warm cappuccino was welcomed.
- Visit the Cathedral and the churches of Bari
The Italians from Puglia region are religious people, so you shouldn’t be surprised if at the door entrance of the house you will see a shrine for Virgin Mary or other saints.
The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Sabin, whose relics are here from IX century.
Basilica Saint Nicholas
The relics of Saint Nicholas have a special story.
Initially, they were in Myra, a place in Minor Asia, Turkey from today. In 1071 Romanus, byzantine emperor conquered the Turks, and because the area of Myra became unstable, they decided to move the relics in Bari.
Other story says that they were stolen by pirates and brought here.
- Choose the best panini ever
On the way back to the car we accidently passed by a panini place and from just looking from the window we had to enter.
Mastro Ciccio has an industrial look and in general, it’s crowded with youngsters.
The real treasure here is represented by the panini. After looking for minute without knowing what to choose, we sow 3 people preparing some grey dough, there on the spot. I asked them why is it gray and the reason was because of the cuttlefish ink that they used for this Panini.
Finally we decided to order some panini, so we chose salmon and buratta panini, hamburger panini, prosciutto and buratta. They were ahh…maizing!!!!!
When to go to Bari?
From April to October the weather is very good, and in winter time, you can expect about 8-12 degrees which is quite pleasant.
How to move around Bari?
The bus ticket is EUR 1, but being a very small city you can easily walk.
Where can you stay?
In Bari you won’t find many hotels but you can find B&B which are apartments transformed to hostels. Although you won’t have a private bathroom in each room, you fill find one on the hallway.
What can you eat?
Food in Bari is simple, tasty and cheap.
They have a local traditional pasta dish is called “Orechiette”, which are pastas looking like ears.
There are also some special sausages with ginger that have a unique taste, and of course pizza.
Pay attention when you cross the streets. Traffic if a little aggressive.
Starting 7 o’clock in the morning the streets are noisy. Everyone runs to have their short expresso on the way to work
Most of the restaurants close at noon between 13.00 and 16.00, so be ready for this situation.
It is better to carry cash since most of the small businesses do not have POSs.