• Ankitha Prakash

A Big Hi to Bari!: Bari, Italy, 2017

I always heard from my Italian friends who are from the south of Italy boasting about their cities, the typical white sands and blue water beaches of southern Italy, their culture and food, how it was perfect to spend the summers in Italy in the southern regions etc. and have always had plans to explore it. And there I go planning this one-week trip to Apulia (Bari city and Alberobello town) and Campania (Naples and the Capri Island) regions of Italy. In this blog, my focus would be on the city of Bari, for the others do check out their respective blogs ❤️

Apulia region, also called as Puglia region in Italian, the “spur” and “heel” of the Italian boot – is one of Europe's great agricultural areas, its immense plains and rolling hills producing much of Italy's wine and olive oil, vast quantities of its fruit and vegetables, and most of the hard durum wheat used to make its pasta. Bari is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in southern Italy. This was the first place on the list plus my first time visiting the southern region of Italy and I was more than excited to see it.

How to get there:

It is very comfortable to get to the city of Bari. I used my usual routine “FlixBus”, to get here from Bologna. It took about 9 hours and costed me around 10 euros (booked a month ago) plus a drive along the Adriatic coast. All in one “Super” package I must say!

It was quite late in the night by the time I reached this place (around 1 AM) and I have booked my stay with Airbnb which included a walk for about 7 minutes from my bus stop. The walk was accompanied by complete silent roads and the pitch-dark sky, which was certainly not a good start, but I was waiting for the real start next morning to get myself introduced to the Bari’s beauty! By the way, my Airbnb host was really a humble man, he was waiting to hand over the keys to me and made sure I had my dinner, gave me some wonderful tips on how to explore the city as I had just a day here!

The next morning, I set out to have a long walk around the city covering most of the attractions: The Bari Castle, Basilica Cattedrale San Sabino, Basilica di San Nicola and of course the Lungomare Nazario Sauro. It was showing me around 35 minutes for the walk alone, so was pretty sure I could explore them all in a day.

📍 Castello Normanno-Svevo or The Bari Castle

This 11th century castle also called as Houhenstaufen Castle was truly a sight to behold, especially for its construction. It is now host to various exhibitions and more like a museum on the inside. A one-time visit is totally worth, according to me.

Moving further throw the streets of Bari, we reach the Bari cathedral.

📍 Basilica Cattedrale San Sabino (Bari Cathedral)

This cathedral is a remarkable Romanesque monument made of limestone and its façade is something you must really take time to admire in detail.

After the tour of the church, it was now time for some food. Went to some local restaurant in the streets and tried the famous Barese dish “Tiella di Riso Patate e Cozze”, the most popular one throughout Apulia region. It was a layered dish consisting of rice, potatoes, onions etc., laid on a crispy golden crust and yes it was unbelievably DELICIOUS! 😋

Moving on was to the famous St. Nicholas Church.

📍 Basilica di San Nicola (St. Nicholas Church)

This is considered as a masterpiece of the Apulian Romanesque Architecture. Being a huge pilgrimage destination it holds wide religious significance throughout Europe and the Christian world.

If you happen to be in Bari during the month of December, then make sure you plan to attend the feast of St. Nicholas.

📍 Lungomare Nazario Sauro

And finally, a long walk along the Lungomare of Bari was a true bliss. The refreshing breeze, lively streets, the look of old town and its street food, everything was amazing!

I did make sure to spend maximum time here sitting on the boulders enjoying the waves of the Adriatic Sea and watching the sunset. Of course, the photographs! 📸

Must say that the entire idea I had in mind through my friends about the "Southern" Italy was seeming to look real. I could totally experience a huge drift in the culture, how different the places looked and surprisingly even the Italian language sounded different, like how I was told about the dialect changes! Everything turned true!

The next destination was a place to see one of my childhood dreams come true, the town of Alberobello! There is an interesting story behind me finding out the name of the town “Alberobello” which I will be writing down in its blog. Do look for it 😊

See you on my next blog! ❣️