Today's Weather in Bari
Situated on the Adriatic Coast, Bari is the regional capital and
a major industrial city in Southern Italy and has been an important
commercial, fishing and ferry port since ancient times.
Today Bari continues to be a busy port with ferries departing to
Greece, Albania and Croatia.
There are many places of interest to visit in the surrounding
region from baroque churches, castles such as the magnificent
Castle del Monte, underground caves such as the spectacular Grotte
di Castellana and stunning countryside dotted with miles upon mile
of olive groves and the conical buildings called trulli which are
unique to Puglia.
The town consists of three parts: the old town on the peninsula
to the north, with the splendid Basilica of San Nicola, the
Cathedral of San Sabino (1035 - 1171) and the Swabian castle, now
also one of the major nightlife districts; the Murattiano town to
the south with a seafront promenade, major shopping district and
heart of the city, and the newest enlarged quarters all
Bari's defining historical moment came when Puglian sailors
brought back the remains of San Nicola, Bari's patron saint, from
its original resting place in Myra in Lycia (part of modern-day
Turkey) to Bari on 9th May 1087. Needing a suitable depository
for the saint's relics the townsfolk immediately began work on what
would become the city's most important building, the Basilica
di San Nicola.
The Basilica today dates back to the end of the 12th century and
is a fine example of Romanesque architecture. It is the focal point
of Bari Vecchia (the old town) and receives thousands of pilgrims
from all over the world each year, including a great many
Greek and Russian Orthodox visitors. Of particular note is the
Festa di San Nicola, which runs from 7th-9th May each year to
commerate the arrival of the saint's relics in Bari and is
celebrated with costume pageants, popular music and a two-day
The most dominating building in old town is the the Cattedrale
di Bari (San Sabino) around which are clustered four
major piazzi -Piazza Odegitria, Piazza San Sabino,
Piazza Bisanzio and Piazza Rainaldo. Emanating from these
piazzi is a network of narrow streets and alleys, on which one
finds more churches and other sacred buildings interspersed amongst
the many shops, cafes and restaurants.
The city's busy modern heart, originally laid out on a grid plan
in the 1700s experienced rapid growth in the the 1960s and 1970s
features commercial offices, but also some of Bari's finest shops,
mostly along the Via Argiroand Via Sparano. The most
important piazza in the area is the Piazza Maggiore, on the edge of
which sits a major government building, the Palazzo di Citta. A
number of Baroque churches with impressive interiors, such as the
Chiesa di Santa Chiara and Chiesa di San Gaetano were also built.
Ever newer areas, with the usual glass clad office towers spread
further inland from this area.
The Corso Vitorio Emanuel follows the waterfront to the
Murattianno area further south. The harbor here is
fronted by a long promenade where one can while-away the hours with
a good stroll, or even a jog. A number of yacht harbors snuggle the
wall, to provide the merely rich and the immensely wealth with
places to tie-up for a bit of onshore fun, shopping or
Bari Vecchia is a fascinating weave of streets that, until
around 10 years ago, was considered a no-go area by the locals. A
radical clean-up operation, however, has transformed it into a
wonderful area for strolling, full of cafés, bars and restaurants.
Just a short walk from Piazza San Nicola are Bari's other
major architectural attractions: the Cattedrale di San
Sabino, also built in a late 12th century Romanesque
style by the Normans, and the Castello Svevo, Emperor Frederick
II's mighty fortress.
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