Bari appears to be two separate towns with a picturesque old quarter and a modern neighbourhood. Bari Vecchia is characterised by narrow lanes and alleyways, quaint houses, ancient churches and shrines. Separating the old town from the commercial and business centre of Borgo is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. The modern quarter has wide streets and elegant buildings that date back to the early 19th-century. Head to Lungomare Nazario Sauro, a delightful seaside promenade which leads up to Port Vecchio, the historic old harbour. Watch fishermen unload their catch on the docks in the morning or just enjoy the colourful boats moored on the pier. If you’re in Lungomare Augusto Imperatore, walk towards Mole San Antonio where you’ll find a modern art gallery.
Begin your journey in Bari by exploring the lively market on Piazza del Ferrarese. The square is also an access point to the Old Town. From there, walk north and you’ll stumble on the delightful Piazza Mercantile dotted by plenty of sidewalk cafes and restaurants. It is also a popular meeting place for locals. Around the square are notable landmarks such as Sedile, the headquarters of the Council of Nobles and the Colonia della Giustizia where debtors and petty criminals were tied and publicly ridiculed during the Middle Ages. Past Chiesa Santa Ana is Basilica di San Nicola, a fine example of Romanesque architecture. Inside is a 12th-century tabernacle and the 1476 painting Madonna with Saints by Vivarini. Underneath the silver crypt is a vault that contains the remains of St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop. Another sight that you should not miss is Altamura, on top of the Murge plateau. This charming town is still partly surrounded by old walls. Explore the imposing cathedral with its ornate doorways, tympanum, choir stalls, and pulpit built by Frederick II in 1231.
Bari, consisting of 9 municipalities and 20 neighbourhoods, lies on a rich coastal plain facing the Adriatic Sea. It has a Mediterranean type of climate with warm and dry summers. Winter temperatures are mild but the precipitation is higher. Its fertile plains stretch inland where you can see loads of olive trees, grapevines, and almonds. Agriculture and fishing are predominant activities. There are also small and medium-sized industries focusing on garments, textiles and mechanics. The leisure industry is a significant sector with Bari welcoming millions of visitors each year. It is linked by a road network to the north whilst the port of Bari is used to move products and passengers inside and outside the country.
The Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport is the main airport in Bari. It is located 8km from the city centre and is named after Pope John Paul II. It is also known as Palese Airport. Several European carriers operate direct flights to Bari. For example, it’s possible to get on flights from London to Bari as well as from the cities of Rome, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Milan. If you want to hire a car at Bari Airport, car rental companies are found at the arrivals area. You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car. Drivers under the age of 25 may have to pay a surcharge when you rent a car in Bari. People drive on the right and overtake from the left. Pay attention to the Access Regulation of Bari or the Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL) where parking and driving through the city are authorised to permit holders only. Thus, if you plan to rent a car in Bari, inform hotel staff so that the appropriate permit can be requested and issued. Video cameras are used to control restricted areas and violators are fined heavily. Speed limits are 130km/h on motorways, 90km/h in major urban areas, and 50km/h in built-up areas.