Bari is a capital and a huge port of South Italian region Puglia. Bari is a Mecca for orthodox people, which for about 25 years has even been an independent Arab emirate. Bari is one of the biggest Italian cities with its characteristic 9 neighborhoods and is absolutely different from what you are used to see in Central and Nothern Italy, or even Southern Naples and Palermo.
The last I came here in the early March the sea was nasty. The mood of the city was ruled by the mood of the sea.
#1 Feel the story in Bari Vecchia
The main 2 neighborhoods you’ll see and will walk around will be Bari Vecchia – a classic calm historic center, and Murat – a newly constructed (XIX century) vivid zone of Bari. Let’s begin a day with a traditional Italian espresso in Pasticceria Martinucci at Piazza Mercantile, Bari Vecchia (old town) neighborhood.
The Old Town is situated on a limestone rock overlooking the sea. Its urban layout, dating back to the Byzantine period, is typically medieval: narrow streets which form an irregular radial pattern, with the two main churches at the center of the square. And having taken a cup of coffee let’s go to explore it.
To tell the truth, I was in this part of the downtown right in lunch time. And notwithstanding how big Bari is, still everything was closed except souvenir shops. So I went to a Basilica di San Nicola. I was so so lucky to find there only 5 people around and I took all my time to stay there in a calm atmosphere.
Considering the role of Saint Nicolas in Christianity and that Bari is honored to guard the relics of the Saint, everything important was named after him – from the stadium and the airport to squares, pizzerias, whatever you want.
#2 Move towards an endless waterfront, then have some lunch
From old neighborhood let’s move towards an endless waterfront which begins from the port end come to the downtown, to Teatro Margherita and fairy-tale-ish blue boats, which I think never move. 🙂 Lungomare di Bari: sea is on one side, hotels with the most precious view are on the another one. So think in advance for some good terrace on a rooftop of one of those hotels.
Before continuing your walk, don’t forget to have some refreshment. Remeber that the lunch begins at 13 pm and usually ends around 15 pm. Almost all the shops will be closed till 16:30-17:00, except Zara & HM. So use this time to eat.
You can choose or to try the most traditional dish “Orecchiette con cime di rape”, originally coming from Bari. Or you can point on seafood. At this point, I’d suggest you Dall’Oste Del Convivium seafood restaurant. Fresh and tasty, with a good choice of wines.
#3 Go shopping in the Murat neighborhood
Oh, Bari has what to suggest for sophisticated shoppers! See my post about shopping in Puglia.
Definitely, you’ve already been in Murat neighborhood. Wide streets in between Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza Umberto I. I suggest you something more than worldwide chains of clothes shops, like Insight Concept Store right behind a famous Petruzelli theater (which also should be included in the list if you stay here more than a day). It presents modern Italian brands as well as those world known like MM6 Martin Margiela, ODEUR, Alberto Premi, etc. Moreover, the store is a part of Farfetch luxury online boutique. See what’s on Farfetch click here.
Another point for your shopping is Via Sparano full of what we are used to see and shopping streets. But don’t forget that all these is closed during the lunch time 😉 Except Sephora or Zara.
As for the place to have a lunch,, the list will definitely depend on your preferences, so here you’d better make your own choice.
#4 How about some contemporary art?
Bari is famous for its theaters. For example, the Petruzzelli Theatre is one of the most important opera houses and the fourth largest in Italy after La Scala in Milan and the San Carlo Theatre in Naples. Till the middle of XX century, Bari counted 10 theaters and the city was known in the whole Italy right for its artistic vivid life. There even existed “a mile of Bari theaters” as they were all situated near each other and presented a diversity of art.
But today there is more to visit. For example, Spazio Murat (Murat Space) in Piazza Ferrarese- a contemporary art space, which is aimed to promote the contemporary art in society with the emphasis on visual art and design and present the leading pieces of “made in Puglia” creativeness. It also brings foreign experience for the local audience like World press photo exposition last year, etc.So it can boast of having various expositions, holding workshops. It also has a concept store – Puglia Design Store.
#5 Eat that yummy pizza at Enzo & Ciro Pizzeria
Pizzeria Enzo e Ciro, Via imbriani 79. Oh guys, what should I tell you… You have to skip the lunch to taste all this pizzeria has! 🙂 It was a cold and windy Monday when we came to Bari in the evening. We were so hungry that there was no time to search for a decent place in some app. But we were amazingly lucky and one local told us to go to this place. Attention, it was Monday 7 pm. Everything around was empty. But here we waited for 20 minutes to get a table but it was a worthy and spectacular waiting.
“Due pizze, per favore!”
Watch the videos in HD quality 😉
I will not describe a lot, I’ll just say that it was fantastic! Considering the quantity of people (3 rooms totally full) we received our pizza in ONE HOUR! But it was a good chance to taste all their delicious appetizes.
So yes, end up your one day in Bari eating the best pizza according to TripAdvisor (the choice of 2015) 😉
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