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Nestled against the sea, in the heart of Apulia, the Queen of the Adriatic is the ideal city for travelers looking to soak up some Mediterranean atmosphere and for lovers of culture and cuisine.
WHERE THE TRADITIONS ARE AMAZING
In the historic center, amidst the still impressive remains of the medieval city walls, you can visit the fascinating Basilica of St Nicholas, built in 1197 in different architectural styles and complete with a crypt containing the tomb of the eponymous saint, adorned with an original mosaic. Another site worth seeing is the 11th-century Bari Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Sabino), which blends baroque and Roman styles and features 14th-century frescoes, a solemn bell tower and the original floor.
Old Bari is ancient, elegant and distinctive with its narrow streets and colorful mosaics. Among other things, this district is home to the Norman-Swabian Castle, which dates from 1156 and was rebuilt in 1233 by Frederick II, the Church of St. Ferdinand and—facing the quay of the same name—the Fort of Saint Anthony the Abbot (Fortino di Sant'Antonio Abate), which was erected for defensive purposes, but now hosts major cultural events.
On the Imperatore-Augusto promenade each May hundreds of pilgrims come to take part in the traditional festive St Nicholas procession to the sea: the statue of the patron saint is carried from the basilica to the port by worshippers dressed in local traditional costume and is then handed over to a flotilla of boats, which take it out to sea as a spectacular firework display lights up the sky.
AN OPEN-AIR SHOWROOM
If you're looking for something more bohemian, the New Bari district is a modern showcase for local culture and shopping. From Teatro Piccinini, designed by Antonio Niccolini, who also created the Teatro di San Carlo opera house in Naples, to the magnificent Teatro Petruzzelli and the evocative setting of Teatro Margherita: theater companies have a wonderful choice of show venues in this city.
Fashionistas won't want to miss the prestigious boutique-lined Via Sparano, a pedestrian shopping oasis just a stone's throw from the center. If you're looking for a livelier ambiance Corso Cavour and Via Manzoni are popular haunts for young people.
A TASTE OF TIMES GONE BY
When you think of Bari, you think of orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe! Among the most famous and popular dishes of Italy, this delicacy is one of the oldest traditions, kept alive by the women of Bari, who still make the dough by hand on their wooden kneading boards and leave it to dry in the sun outside their houses.
If you happen to stroll through the city's narrow lanes, the sight of this spectacular homemade golden pasta is guaranteed to make your mouth water.
THE WONDERS OF STONEWORK
A short distance from Bari there are three Apulia world heritage sites: Castel del Monte, the Trulli of Alberobello and the Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo. Alberobello is located in the heart of the Murgia dei Trulli, with a historic center composed entirely of trulli, houses built from dry stone masonry, featuring whitewashed walls and conical roofs with exposed stonework.
You will be keen to take photos of these distinctive architectural structures: on top of some of the trulli you can see decorative markings depicting the signs of the zodiac or religious symbols.
What are you waiting for? Book an Alitalia flight now and set off!