Bari

Bari is the capital of the Apulia region of Italy. It's the mezzogiorno's (Italy's south) largest city after Naples, and a bustling commercial center and port.

Understand

Bari is the largest and most important city of Apulia (much larger than Lecce) 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 til dawn" in this once dark and unsafe zone.

Get in

By plane

There are approximately 40 various cheap flights into Bari (BRI) from various European airports. Taxi to downtown costs €25-30, but there are buses connecting the airport to central Bari, including the train station.

By train

Check www.trenitalia.com for time tables and prices. Bari has two train train stations located next to each other. The commuter trains station serves points north, the main station long distance trains and local trains going south to Ostuni, Brindisi, and Lecce.

By car

You can get to Bari by A14 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 (Albania), 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 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 a lot of important churches.

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 soon as 4AM) 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.

Buy

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

Shopping streets

Eat

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

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.

Mid-range

Hotel Boston (Via Piccinni, 155). One block from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, and ten minutes walk to Old Town. Rooms are spacious but fairly basic. Generous breakfast. There is a small supermarket across the street. €90 for a double.

Splurge

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.

Go next

Nice towns to discover around Bari are Matera, Gravina, Martina Franca and Alberobello. Trani (with a truly impressive Cathedral), Molfetta, Giovinazzo and Polignano a Mare 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.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.