10 things to do and see in Bari and 1 not to do

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Alejandra Rangel

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10 things to do and see in Bari and 1 not to do

Third city in Southern Italy (preceded by Palermo and Naples); capital region; main port of the Adriatic and centuries-old hub of civil and commercial traffic between East and West: Bari is all this and much more. It is also, for example, one of the most important centers of the Orthodox church in the West, without forgetting the crucial role played by the city in the early 90s with thewelcome of tens of thousands of Albanians fleeing their country. The images of that exodus in the port of Bari represent on the historical level one of the frame more significant than the end of an era dominated by geo-political balances area of cold war. It is not over, because with the beginning of the new millennium the city ​​of San Nicola it has also begun to work on its tourist image by freeing itself from negative stereotype of the “boss” crime of the historic center. Of course, crime is there and periodically continues to be talked about, however it is a fact that the city has improved a lot for liveability. As for the things to do and see, you are spoiled for choice. Do you need a Hotel in Bari? Click here for the list. Below we will try to list the main ones. Happy reading.

1 old Bari

From a fort of crime to kingdom of the Apulian nightlife. This is the positive parable of Old Bari (or Barivecchia) in the past 10-15 years. Of course the problems are still there, however the historic center, enclosed between the two city ports, has made progress. Just read the reviews that are on the net to be aware of it. The most widespread sensation, and which pleasantly strikes the tourists who enter the maze of alleys of the old city, is that of "Enter people's homes". It may even happen to witness live the making of the mythical ones orecchiette or to the sale of taralli but, more generally, it is the feeling of great familiarity that leaps to the eyes and heart of those who visit these places for the first time. Places, it must be said, where most of the architectural and museum assets of the city are concentrated. In old Bari there is Basilica of San Nicola Cathedral of San Sabino, Norman-Swabian Castle and an infinity of other churches and palaces that are interesting from a historical-architectural point of view. In short, the touristic Bari almost completely coincides with the more folkloric and linked to ancient traditions. Not to be missed!

2 Pontifical Basilica of San Nicola

If there is a religious building whose importance goes beyond the confessional aspects this is the Basilica of San Nicola. Especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the relaxation of relations between east and west, the church of the patron saint of Bari has become meeting place between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox culture. Not surprisingly, both in the Russian Orthodox chapel of the crypt of the basilica, and on the altar of the saint's tomb, mass is celebrated according to the rite of Constantinople. In short, the basilica is an important meeting place between Christians and the circumstance over the years has consolidated the religious tourism helping to further enrich the already strong international dimension of the city. From the architectural point of view, however, the Pontifical Basilica of San Nicola is a example of Romanesque style. Built under the Norman domination at the turn of the 1087th and XNUMXth centuries (following the arrival of the remains of St. Nicholas from the city of Myra, year XNUMX), the building was built on the area of ​​residence of the catepano, Greek-Byzantine governor who resided permanently in the city. The different dominations that have followed one another over the centuries (Norman, Swabian, Angevin, Aragonese, Bourbon and post-unification) have all added something on the decorative level, without however the massive and sober structure of the original Norman architecture coming out upset. The Basilica can be visited from Monday to Saturday from 7.00 to 20.30; Sunday from 7.00 - 22.00. For further information on the history, worship, legends and art of this great religious building, please refer to Official site: www.basilicasannicola.it

3 Cathedral of San Sabino

One of the most beautiful churches in southern Italy, without nothing to envy to the Basilica of San Nicola. By the way, as the floor mosaic brought to light in 1960, a church already existed on the spot well before the year one thousand. Second ecclesiastical sources this church was destroyed in the eleventh century to make way for the city cathedral which, however, after the arrival of the relics of San Nicola (year 1087), soon lost its centrality to the advantage of the nearby basilica that housed the remains of the saint. A slow decline culminated in the partial destruction, in 1156, at the hands of William I of Sicily, known as "il Malo", who in that way intended to punish the bishop and the citizenry for the insubordination repeatedly manifested towards the Norman power. Only in 1292, over a century after the facts just mentioned, was the consecration of the new cathedral which still remains one of the most shining testimonies of theRomanesque-Apulian architecture. Like the Basilica of San Nicola and other churches in the city, in the XNUMXth century the interior of the Cathedral of San Sabino experienced a decisive baroque turn from which however it is made reverse gear in the 50s, giving the building its own naked solemnity. At the beginning of the '00s the Cathedral was closed to the public to undergo a long conservative restoration with the addition of a new lighting system. In 2005, in the presence of Cardinal Ruini, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), the new inauguration.

4 Norman Swabian Castle

Basilica, Cathedral e Castle: this is the triad from which to leave for go to the discovery of Bari. Tell the first two, touch now "U Castidde" as the fortress located in the Bari dialect is calledend of the old town. Like the Basilica of San Nicola, the Norman Swabian Castle also stands on what was once the residential area of catepano, Byzantine governor stationed in the city. The fortress was partially destroyed in 1156 by the people of Bari who had repeatedly shown insubordination towards the Norman authority (pro-Byzantine revolt 1155-1158). It took almost a century - to be precise, 1233 - for the renovation of the building under the banner of Frederick II of Swabia, as the coat of arms (the famous Federician eagle) on the entrance portal. For the rest, the history of the building follows that of the various dominations that have occurred in the city. Then after the Normans and the Swabians, the Angevins, the Aragonese dynasty, and subsequently the Bourbon one. Just the Bourbons, in a manner similar to what was done with other structures of this type, in the sixteenth century transformed the castle into a place of prison and barracks. Today the Norman-Swabian Castle houses exhibitions e reviews the most varied cultural sites. To see i casts of the majors monuments regional (shelves, capitals, sculptures and other architectural details) for a time span ranging from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century. There plaster cast collection of the Norman-Swabian Castle of Bari is under the protection of Superintendence of the historical and artistic architectural heritage of Puglia.

5 Petruzzelli Theater

The people of Bari have always been very "lively". Several times, throughout history, the citizens of the Apulian capital have vehemently protested against the local political power. One of the most famous was in 1890 after noting the inadequacy of the Puccini Municipal Theater (inaugurated in 1854) to host the "Rusticana Cavalry" di Pietro Mascagni. The circumstance led the local administration to speed up the process for the construction of a larger theater even if, after the approval of the project drawn up by theengineer from Bari Angelo Messeni and presented by brothers Onofrio and Antonio Petruzzelli (brothers-in-law of the engineer), the work struggled for several years to start. Once again popular indignation was the spring that pushed to accelerate the work: the unrest due to the increase in the duty on flour was appeased, in fact, with a dense public works plan (and therefore greater occupation) including, in fact, the Petruzzelli Theater. The inauguration took place in 1903 and since then, without prejudice to the vicissitudes of the first half of the 900th century (the two world wars, the fascist dictatorship and the landing of the allies), almost all the major cultural events have passed through this theater. The artistic-cultural primacy del Petruzzelli di Bari suffered a terrible blow in 1991 with a incendio doloso which destroyed a large part of the structure. Since 2009, however, the theater has resumed its activity and its rightful place in the "heart" of the city. Visiting it, therefore, goes beyond the passion for lyric and ballet technique: at stake there is a centuries-old history and tradition that have come back to life after being shot almost to death. For more information visit the official website: www.fondazionepetruzzelli.it

6 Promenade

There are those who, exaggerating, compared the Bari seafront to the mythical one Ocean Drive di Miami Beach. The exaggeration, however, does not refer to the beauty of the places, because indeed that of Bari has nothing to envy to the others, as for the tourist-commercial gap existing with other realities, not just Miami. A gap that the municipal administration is trying to fill with a redevelopment project which mainly affects the stretch Emperor Augustus where, according to the plans, the promenade will be enlarged complete with walkway-solarium on the water. While waiting for developments, it is still worth taking a walk along the Bari promenade. Not all at once, unless you are experienced runners, but choosing the area that suits you best depending on the situation. The aforementioned Imperatore Augusto seafront that surrounds the whole area of ​​Barivecchia, or the Nazario Lauro waterfront starting from the legendary "Pane e Pomodoro" the beach of the people of Bari. Different suggestions and atmospheres that reveal many to an attentive eye architectural details of the city. From the prevalence of Romanesque-Apulian in the historic center, at urban transformations of a fascist style built in the 30s under the impulse of the podestà, as well as the Minister of Public Works, Antonio di Crollalanza. In short, the Bari seafront is a must for anyone visiting the city. Very pleasant to walk in the summer in the evening. Not to be missed!

7 The old port (Nderr la lanz)

"Nderr la lanz" which in Spanish means "On the ground the spear" is the symbolic place of baresity, what best explains thepopular soul of the city. Here (Pier San Nicola) every day, sea permitting, the buying and selling fish with dozens of fishermen busy placing their product. Cuttlefish, octopus, lobsters, sea urchins, mussels and many other delicacies of the local gastronomy represent the scenery of this suggestive corner of Bari overlooking the Margherita, Art Nouveau theater from the early 900s under renovation. And while, in fact, the city all around changes "Nderr la lanz" remains true to itself. Things have obviously changed here too, starting from the habit of throwing fish at the foot of the boat (hence the name of the place) but much more slowly than the surrounding context. Maybe it's this feeling of deep familiarity the reason why the people of Bari are so fond of it to the point of frequenting the place regardless of the purchase of fish. Nderr la lanz, in fact, is one of the meeting places of the movida town, especially during the summer. Genius loci.

8 The orecchiette

The Bari recipe book is so vast that it is very prohibitive to give an exhaustive account of it. There is a dish, however, whose fame has far exceeded the city limits, and indeed even regional and national ones. We are of course talking about the orecchiette, which the people of Bari cook with turnip greens but that nothing prevents you from preparing in a thousand other ways. More than the possible condiments, therefore, the value added it's just the handmade pasta processing which in some alleys of Barivecchia takes place onI leave the house. The way of the orecchiette par excellence is Via Arco Basso not far from Norman-Swabian Castle in the heart of the Ancient city. The purchase of "Drag", as they are called in dialect of Bari, is among the things you absolutely must do while visiting the city. It goes without saying that i production peaks they coincide with the periods of greatest tourist influx, therefore close to Christmas and during thesummer. To try!

9 The beaches

Despite being a seaside city, Bari does not offer much from a seaside point of view. There city ​​beach is called "Bread and Tomato" but, apart from the fancy name, it's not the best. Much frequented by the people of Bari who do not want to or cannot move, the beach pays for being too close to the city. Things definitely change for the better if you move to Polignano a Mare or, even further down, a Monopoli. The two towns are half an hour away by car (about 40 km) from the Apulian capital but the scenario from the seaside point of view changes completely. Therefore, if the purpose is to combine a visit to the city with a few days at sea, the advice is to move to the aforementioned locations. The beaches of Polignano and Monopoli are among the most famous and popular in all of Puglia. Otherwise even closer (approx. 20 km), there is Giovinazzo beach, also very popular during the summer months.

10 The surroundings

The surroundings of Bari, of course, do not only offer wonderful beaches. There is much more: from Altamura (approx. 50 km) very famous for the Caves, the Cathedral, the bread and an infinity of other things (we have already talked about it here), Conversano (34 km), Mola (20 km), Putignano (41 km - Carnival is famous) up to Alberobello (approx. 50 km) town famous all over the world for its characteristic trulli. The province of the Apulian capital deserves from all points of view: historical-cultural; landscape-environmental and food and wine. A treasure of inestimable value (we apologize for the places not mentioned) which honors Bari, Puglia and all of Italy.

1 Do not show off valuables in certain areas of the city

What we have already said about Bari applies to Naples, Palermo, Genoa and other Italian cities. There is petty crime; muggings and robberies can happen (even if they are not on the agenda) and therefore minimizing too much or, worse still, denying the problem is wrong as well as counterproductive. After all, news can be easily found online and therefore we have to be realistic. Realism which, however, must not translate into fear at all. The historic center of Bari, compared to the 80s and 90s, has done extraordinary progress and the city, as already mentioned at the beginning, has consolidated its own international dimension thanks to tourism and at the historic contribution of the Fiera del Levante. The only precaution, therefore, is to avoid wearing jewels, precious and watches of great value in some contexts. Apart from this small precaution which, we repeat, is common to many other metropolitan realities, including foreign ones (see Athens), there are no big problems. The only one you might have is if you dwell too much on these aspects. The people of Bari, in this very similar to the Neapolitans, defend their city with the sword and therefore bumping into susceptibility is not a good deal.

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