Bari, the capital of Puglia in Southern Italy, is a port city on the Adriatic Sea. Often overlooked, Bari boasts a rich history, delightful cuisine, and a warm, hospitable atmosphere. With its labyrinthine old town, picturesque seafront, and vibrant street life, Bari deserves to be more than just a gateway to the rest of Puglia.


  1. Orecchiette: Try Bari's signature pasta, often served with tomato sauce, ricotta, or cime di rapa (turnip tops).
  2. Focaccia Barese: Delight in this olive-oil-rich flatbread, topped with tomatoes, olives, and sometimes oregano.
  3. Panzerotti: These small, calzone-like turnovers are filled with tomatoes and mozzarella and then fried to perfection.
  4. Seafood: Being a coastal city, Bari offers fresh seafood. Enjoy dishes like octopus, mussels, and anchovies.
  5. Primitivo Wine: Sip on this rich, full-bodied red wine produced in the region.


  1. Historic Old Town (Bari Vecchia): Wander through the narrow alleys of Bari's old town, with its charming architecture, churches, and small squares.
  2. Festivals and Events: The Festa di San Nicola in May is Bari's most important festival, celebrating its patron saint.
  3. Handmade Pasta Tradition: In the Old Town, women often make orecchiette by hand in the streets.
  4. Opera and Theater: The Petruzzelli Theatre is the most famous theater in Bari and one of the grandest in Italy. It's a splendid place to watch an opera or ballet.

Travel Tips

  1. Getting Around: Bari is best explored on foot or by bike, especially in the Old Town. For longer distances, the city's buses and trains are efficient.
  2. Local Market: Visit Mercato Ex Manifattura Tabacchi, an indoor market with local produce and products.
  3. Climate: Bari can get very hot in summer. Spring and fall are more comfortable for exploring.
  4. Learn Basic Italian: While many locals speak English, learning a few Italian words can go a long way.
  5. Day Trips: Bari is an excellent base for exploring Puglia, including Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, and Matera.

Interesting Facts

  1. Bari is home to the Basilica di San Nicola, which holds the relics of Saint Nicholas, popularly known as Santa Claus.
  2. The University of Bari Aldo Moro, founded in 1925, is one of the most prestigious universities in Southern Italy.
  3. Bari has its dialect, Bari dialect, which is quite different from standard Italian.
  4. The city is a virtual port for ferry traffic to Croatia, Greece, and Albania.

Top Places

  1. Basilica di San Nicola: This 11th-century church is an important pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians.
  2. Castello Normanno-Svevo: A massive fortress built in 1132. It has been a castle, a prison, and now a museum.
  3. Lungomare Nazario Sauro: Bari's seafront promenade is perfect for a leisurely walk, offering fantastic views and fresh air.
  4. Bari Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Sabino): Another stunning example of Apulian Romanesque architecture, this cathedral is a must-visit.
  5. Piazza Mercantile and Piazza Ferrarese: These are Bari's main squares, bustling with cafes, restaurants, and people.
  6. Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari: This art museum houses a significant collection of Apulian art and works by Italian masters.
  7. Alberobello: Though not in Bari, this town is close by and is famous for its Trulli houses, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Bari is a charming city that combines the allure of history, the flavors of its rich cuisine, and the serene beauty of the Adriatic. Whether you're strolling through the Old Town, savoring the delicious street food, or using it as a base to explore Puglia, Bari offers an authentic Italian experience.