Bari is the capital city of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea. It is the second most important economic centre of Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known for its huge port and for Saint Nicholas. In the northern part of the city, there’s the old town the so-called “Bari Vecchia”, with narrow streets similar to those found in an Arab town. It’ll be funny to take a walk in there and find women cooking or selling food (strictly home-made!) out of their small houses or watching them cleaning their own piece of sidewalk!
The old part of the city is surely the most interesting for tourists because of the main attractions. This is the place where you can see the oldest buildings and find approximately 30 ancient churches that were built during different historical periods. Strolling along the old town you can hear many interesting mysteries and legends connected with Saint Nicholas or simply with the town itself and its inhabitants. “La Basilica di San Nicola” is the main symbol of Bari. The basilica keeps striking visitors for its size,for its architecture and for its relics: “la manna di San Nicola”. Every year a huge number of pilgrims, most of them coming from Eastern Europe, come to see the precious relics. In one of the halls of the church, ancient icons, brought to the basilica right after its founding in the beginning of the 11th century, are located. Apart from churches and the old “Castello Svevo” (built for Frederick II), the Old Town is now also a major nightlife district.
In the southern part of the city there’s the Murat quarter, the modern heart of the city, which is laid out on a rectangular grid-plan with a promenade on the sea and the major shopping district (via Sparano, via Argiro and C.so Cavour). Many fashion boutiques, jewelry and perfume shops are concentrated all over the city centre and near the railway station.
New Bari is a vivacious town with wide avenues, impressive public buildings (including a large theater and the University of Bari), museums and fine restaurants. The central square of the city is decorated with a magnificent fountain with statues dated back to the Fascist time. Last, but not the least, there’s the Petruzzelli Theatre. In 2010, the famous theater was reopened after the restoration. It’s a huge red theatre, well-known as the landmark of the city, with rich halls, amazing paintings and refined forniture. The atmosphere here is reminiscent of old noble palaces.
The city airport, Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła Airport, is the biggest of the region with connections to several European cities.