The city of Bari

Bari is a fairly large port city, I will give you an impression of what you’ll find there. This without being exhaustive, because you also have to be able to discover something yourself.

It is sensible, unless you really need the car in the city, to take the exit past the Ikea “Stazione Mungivacco” and then park at the parking just before this small station that has as a the second name “Ikea”. There is always space and parking is free. For about € 1.10 you have an “andata e ritorno”, a return ticket for the slow train and it takes you to the hart of the city of Bari: the terminus Bari Centrale. The slow train runs regularly and it takes about 12 minutes. It uses the last platform of the big station and if you walk all the way forward to the entrance, you’re   right in the Centre of Bari.

the city of Bari from B&B Villa LavandaShopping in the city of Bari:

There are a few important shopping streets in Bari and the most important is Via Sparano, which is closed to traffic. In Bari you have shops for every budget with garments for a few euros to stores that have security at the entrance. I personally like Coin Casa, the store of the department store Coin (Auchan Centre) and Zara Casa, but you will find everything and in every price range.

Know that in Italy all shops, also in the city, are closed from 01:00 PM to 05:00PM and in wintertime from 01:00 PM to 04:00, although nowadays there are quite a lot of shops in the city of Bari that do not close anymore after lunch.



Places of interest in Bari:

Here you will find a lot of information, also about excursions,  bicycle rentals and the like

The Basilica of S. Nicola:


San Nicola patron saint of the city of BariThe first time I went to see the Basilico di San Nicola I was confused for a while, because upstairs a mass was going on and from below singing could be heard. That is all possible, because on the ground floor the regular Catholic church resides and downstairs the Russian-Greek Orthodox church. There you will also find the shrine with the remains of “our” St. Nicholas. According to a Dutch  documentary stolen from the Turks at the time with the intent to hold the crusaders leaving from Bari longer in the city and make them spend more money.

I attended the marriage of a Russian friend. We had to wait because Berlusconi, then the president of Italy, suddenly decided that after opening the Fiera del Levante, he also wanted to visit the nearby Basilica. The bride and the groom (gli sposi) and all the guests had to wait on the sidewalk, while in the square a nice amount of security was walking around. I leaned against a door and when it suddenly opened, Silvio Berlusconi was behind me. He apparently thought he had found the exit. Although he wears raised heels, he only came to my shoulders anyway.

S. Nicola is the patron saint of sailors, shipbuilders, fishermen, prisoners, innocent convicts, lawyers, bailiffs, bankers, dockers, grain traders, coopers, wine merchants, painters, perfumers, pharmacists, bakers, clerics, suitors, children and merchants. Many port cities, including Amsterdam, and Bari have S. Nicola as patron saint.  He is also the patron saint of Russia (think the Tsars) and also for the Greeks he is extremely important.


Here is a link to a newspaper article about the Russians getting some relics from the Basilica in the city of Bari.

The second Russian church in Bari:

the 2nd Russian church in the city of BariThere is a second Russian church in Bari, of the type with “onions” on it. I had a number of appointments in the neighbourhood and tried again and again to visit it. Because it was always “not possible”,  the last time I did not let myself be sent away by the Russian guards and got a tour of a young lady who works there and showed me the many icons, among other things. Here a link to an article about the Basilica. And here a link to the Facebook page and also a video of the presentation of the church to the Russian president Putin.








That is the long boulevard in Bari. Very nice and you sometimes find fishermen who offer their catch for sale from a container or you see them catching e.g. hairy crabs, which they then sell as extra income to neighbours who make pasta sauce with it. It is also very busy here on warm evenings until well after midnight. Residents of the Centro Storico (located behind the Basilica of S. Nicola), seek refreshment in the evening. There are stalls with deep-fried polenta, drinks, snacks, etc. You see older gentlemen playing chess at home themselves, whole families that BBQ, there is music, in short, a lively bunch.


As you continue along Lungomare, you reach the quays where the ferries are to Greece, Croatia and Albania. Cruise ships often also call on Bari.

Explore the city with locals:

Free Walking Tours in the city of BariIf you want to explore Bari with a resident of that city, this is the way: Free Walking Tour Bari. The tour is free, but of course everybody gives a token of appreciation afterwards. Your local guides, Anna and Giuseppe, show you the old city and tell you something about the history




There is a choice of  3 tours:

First of all: the original tour with a length of 4 km:

explore the old and the new city, meet the inhabitants and see their culture, traditions and daily live.

Furthermore: The Jungle: 7 km  “Take a walk on the wild side”

– Enjoy a cosmopolitan night walk and let’s toast together
– Crawl through uptown’s hidden spots and alternative scenes
– Ride with us on the most unusual bus line of Bari.

Finally: Family: 3 km . dedicated to children, teens and forever young adults:

– Learn about Bari through interactive street games and funny stories
– Walk safely in the old town, only on pedestrian ways, letting the young roam free
– Try yummy and healthy snacks and be amazed by grandma’s traditions

A YouTube film about Bari vecchia, situated behind the Basilica and near the castle.

Teatro Petruzzelli:

Teatro Petrucelli in the city of BariI discovered the theatre on my first visit to Bari in 1989. Afterwards it burned down, but was rebuilt later.

You’ll find the better places downstairs and then you really have to dress up on them. The higher you are, the cheaper the ticket. Are you going to be dressed in a more informal way, it will not be noticed so much then. You can find the program of the performances on the website of the theatre.

The Teatro Margherita is no longer in use as a theatre. It is now going to be a museum for modern art.



The best ice cream in town:


Bari ijs van MartinucciAfter all this, you really are entitled to a delicious ice cream:

A gelato from Martinucci Piazza Mercantile 80,  Bari. You can easily walk to it  from the old town and S. Nicola. At this bar / ice cream parlour you just do not know what to choose. A lot of flavours and it all looks so delicious! You can also drink a nice coffee with one of their equally tempting sweets. Or go for it all and do it both! You’ll find them at the cosy Piazza Mercantile and you can now find them in Alberobello as well, via Monte S. Michele 57. For the route, look here.

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