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Bari

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Bari (Bari dialect: Bare) is the capital of the Apulia region of Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. With a population of 326,000 it's the second largest city in Southern Italy after Naples. It's also the core of a metropolitan area exceeding one million inhabitants and a bustling commercial center and port.

Understand

Bari is the largest and most important city of Apulia and stands on the Adriatic coast. It's mainly famous for being one of the exit doors of Italy, where travellers leave on ferries for neighboring countries. The city authorities, however, have been trying to raise its tourism profile and awareness of Bari's old town, which has retained its ancient Medieval plan and contains many historic buildings and sites. The old town was the heart of pre-Roman and Roman Bari and it is now possible to find several hip bars and restaurants open "from dusk till dawn" in this once dark and unsafe zone.

Get in

By plane

  • 1 Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI IATA). Bari's airport is modern and well-organized. Carriers include Alitalia, Lufthansa, Ryanair, and Wizzair. A taxi to the center costs around € 25-30. A direct railway link connects Bari airport to the main station Bari Centrale. There are on average two trains per hour. A single ticket costs € 5. If you are willing to walk 30 minutes to the next stop (Bari Viale Europa), a ticket from there to Bari Centrale costs € 1.10 only.

By train

Check www.trenitalia.com for time tables and prices. The main staion is 2 Bari Centrale, in Piazza Aldo Moro. The commuter trains station serves points north, the main station long distance trains and local trains going south to OstuniBrindisi, and Lecce.

By car

You can get to Bari by highway, which runs from Bologna to Taranto following the Adriatic coast.

By bus

You can use Onbus Company to travel from Sicily to Puglia. Touring buses connect Germany to Puglia.

By boat

Bari is the destination for ferries incoming from the Greek port of Patra and Igoumenitsa. If you are traveling on a Eurorail during the low season, the cost is €16, during the mid season, €31. A normal ticket to Igoumenitsa is about €29 on the deck and in low - season. There are also ships to Bar and Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and to Durrës and Vlora (Albania). Ferry operators are either Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries or Jadrolinija. An up-to-date site with international ferry schedules is here.

Get around

There are many public buses. A ticket costs €1 (€1.50 if bought on board).

See

There are a lot of places to see in Bari, especially in the ancient part of the city, called Bari Vecchia by locals. It's a beautiful mediaeval quarter in which there are many important churches.

  • 1 Basilica of Saint Nicholas (Basilica di San Nicola). This romanic church with a gold ceiling and a crypt contains many medieval attractions, including the magnificent cathedra of Bishop Elias.
  • On the same square, also the Palazzo del Catapano and the Church of Saint Gregory are worth a visit).
  • 2 Bari Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Sabino), Piazza dell'Odegitria, 1, ☏ +39 080 5210605. A romanic church even older than St. Nicolas', though later refurbished in baroque style, and equally interesting. Free.
  • It is highly suggested to take a walk along the waterfront, on the top of the old city walls, which passes by the Fortino of Saint Antony (an old fort that has been turned into a modern art gallery) and the former Monastery of Saint Scolastica (which belong to the local university). The vast majority of the churches in Bari Vecchia are closed to tourists. They are opened up on selected festivities, including Good Friday and the Solemnity of All Saints).

There is a small town - 20 minutes outside of Bari named Adelfia. The patron saint of one of its quarters, Montrone is Saint Trifone. Nov 9 is the start of a three day celebration. On Nov 9 is the early evening a giant beautiful balloon is release which signifies the start of the festival. On the 10th, the statue of San Trifone is brought out of the church and paraded around the town. Bands from all over Italy come and perform on the outdoor stage. Fireworks are displayed throughout the evening into the early morning. The different men's club compete on which club can have the biggest, loudest and spectacular display. Vendors surround the town with goods, food and gifts. Often there are over 200 parked buses from all over southern Italy. It really is a popular celebration.

Do

The Saint of the city is Saint Nicholas. He is celebrated by the Catholic Church on December 6. In Bari, several masses take place early in the morning (as early as 04:00) of December 6. A huge crowd and lots of fast food stands fill the old town through the night. The city's main celebration of Saint Nicholas, however, takes place in May 6–8 with historical reconstructions, popular music and a two-day fireworks contest. For this event many pilgrims come from all over the world.

  • 1 Teatro Petruzzelli, Corso Cavour, 12, ☏ +39 080 9752 810. The largest theatre of the city and the fourth Italian theatre by size. Its season feature high quality productions of prose, opera, ballet and classical music.

Buy

Pottery, bags, shoes, interesting (and underpriced) red wines.

  • Cartoleria Favia, Piazza Umberto I n2, ☏ +39 0805235941. Fashion stationery (Mont Blanc, Parker, Aurora), bags, train/aero/car models.

Shopping streets

  • 1 Via Sparano da Bari. Here you'll find Louis Vuitton, Benetton, Promod, and the like.
  • Via Argiro.

Eat

Most restaurants are located in the eastern part of central Bari, around the intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Corso Cavour.

  • Vini e Cucina, Via Roberto il Guiscardo, Bari. An old and very informal restaurant in the old town. Traditional, non-posh cuisine. Simple four-course menu for about €15.
  • Due Archi. Cheap and simple. Conceptionally very similar to Vini e Cucina.
  • Le Travi. Same as Due Archi.

Drink

Sleep

Bari suffers from not having a good selection of cheap accommodation. Regardless, the budget options available all seem clean and modern if not a little overpriced compared to the rest of Italy.

Budget

If you are in Bari and looking for some cheap place to sleep (less than €25/night/person) it can be quite a problem.

  • 1 Santa Claus Hostel, 4 Arco San Pietro, Piazza San Pietro, ☏ +39 338 1744695, ✉ info@baribackpackers.com. €20.
  • 2 Bari Belle Camere, and Cosy Rox, Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 40 (Turn right out of the train station to travel east, walk two blocks and find the orange and grey building on the other side of the walk bridge), ☏ +39 380 515-1519. Cosy Rox are a couple of residences operated for overnight stays and short term rentals. To stay you will need to visit the main hostel at 40 Piazza Luigi di Savoia, from where you will be directed to the place where you will stay. The residence on Via Matteo Renato Imbrianni has private rooms, good atmosphere, clean, modern and warm with shared kitchen and bathroom, and free Wi-Fi . Francesco, the owner is super helpful and a welcoming host and has a dog. Ask if you can help for 3 or 4 hours a day to have a discount or for 6 hours in change of food and accommodation. €20/25 bed, €40/50 double room.
  • Magica, Via Gioacchino Murat (near the Normanno-Svevo castle). €20.
  • Bed and breakfast F.G., Via palo 77, ☏ +39 0809924502. Professes to have clean, well-maintained large rooms, friendly staff, delicious breakfast offerings, high-speed wireless internet access, in-room refrigerators, air conditioning, satellite TV and video players that are delivered without additional cost. 30.

Mid-range

  • 3 Hotel Boston, Via Nicolò Piccinni, 155, ☏ +39 080 521 6633. One block from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, ten minutes to the old town. Rooms are spacious but fairly basic. Generous breakfast. There is a small supermarket across the street. €90 for a double.

Splurge

  • 4 Hotel Terranobile Meta Resort, Via Bitritto, 101 (Bari ring freeway - Exit 10 A), ☏ +39 080 5053081, ✉ info@terranobile.it. Spa resort few kilometres from downtown, with wellness center and swimming pools.
  • 5 Hotel Oriente Bari, Corso Cavour, 32, ☏ +39 080 5255100, fax: +39 080 5255777, ✉ booking@orientehotelbari.it. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Four-star accommodation located behind the famous Petruzzelli Theatre, in the city centre, a few blocks away from the sea line; with 75 bedrooms divided into double classic, deluxe and suites, and with large public areas, internet connection, meeting and ballrooms and a panoramic terrace. Also available for weddings and special occasions.

Connect

Stay safe

Bari Vecchia is a beautiful quarter but because of the narrow, crowded streets and the presence of tourists, it is the preferred place for local pickpocketers.

Cope

Consulates

  • Albania, Via Pasquale Villari, 50, ☏ +39 080 528-9728, fax: +39 080 528-3335, ✉ consulate.bari@mfa.gov.al. M-F 09:00-14:00.
  • Belgium, Via Napoli, 353, ☏ +39 080 534-8577, ✉ consolatodelbelgiobari@yahoo.com. M-F 09:00-13:00.
  • Brazil, Via Dalmazia, 159/B, ☏ +39 080 553-0750, fax: +39 080 550-1948, ✉ consonorbrasilpuglia@libero.it. By appointment.
  • Bulgaria, ☏ +39 080 524-2939, ✉ consolatobulgaria.puglia@gmail.com.
  • Costa Rica, Via Andrea da Bari, 141, ☏ +39 080 880-7588, fax: +39 080 222-1524, ✉ conhcr-br@rree.go.cr. By appointment.
  • Greece, Via Giovanni Amendola, 172/C, ☏ +39 080 546-8049, fax: +39 080 546-1675, ✉ grhoncon.bar@mfa.gr.
  • Mexico, Largo Nitti Valentini, 3, ☏ +39 080 552-2485, fax: +39 080 552-2446, ✉ consolatomessicobari@libero.it. By appointment.
  • Spain, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 179, ☏ +39 366 330-1581, ✉ consolatospagnabari@gmail.com. M-F 10:00-12:30 & 16:00-18:00.
  • Sweden, Via Dante Alighieri, 138, ☏ +39 334 266-9473, ✉ consolato.svezia@hotmail.com. M 09:00-10:00.
  • Switzerland, Piazza Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi, 41/A, ☏ +39 080 524-9697, toll-free: +39 080 524-7329, ✉ bari@honrep.ch. By appointment.

Go next

Nice towns to discover around Bari are Matera, Gravina, Martina Franca and AlberobelloTrani (with a truly impressive Cathedral), MolfettaGiovinazzo to the North and Mola di BariPolignano a Mare and Monopoli to the South are closer to Bari and also worth a visit. There are many direct trains a day. Ticket to Matera or Alberobello is about €4 in one direction.



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