Basilica di San Nicola (Basilica of San Nicholas) is a beautiful church located in the historical center of Bari, one of the most significant examples of the Apulian-Romanesque architecture. SHORT HISTORY The church was built in Romanesque style between 1087 and 1103, during the Norman domination of Apulia, to host the relics of Saint Nicholas, translated from Myra, Lycia, to Bari, on May 9, 1087. The relics were temporarily housed in the Monastery of St. Benedict. On October 1, 1089, the relics were transferred to the crypt of the unfinished basilica by Pope Urban II, who came to Bari specifically for this. The construction of the basilica was completed in 1103. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The simple and majestic facade of the basilica is divided in three parts by pilasters, crowned with small arches, has mullioned windows at the top and three portals at the bottom. Two bell towers of different styles flank the facade. The sides are characterized by deep blind arches and rich doors. Blind arches at the bottom and mullioned windows at the top animate the transept and the apse wall, decorated in the middle by a large window. The interior is divided in three naves Read more [...]
One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions in Bari, Apulia…
Palazzo della Banca d’Italia is a palace in Bari, located on the Corso Cavour, between the Palazzo della Camera di Commercio and the Petruzzelli Theater. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1926 after a design by the architect Accolti Gil, on an area of about three thousand square meters that previously housed the Mercato Coperto (Covered Market). The works lasted six years and the ribbon was cut in October, 1932. The offices of the Bank were transferred here from its original headquarters located in Via Cairoli. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The palace stands on four levels plus a basement. Valuable elements are the public lounge with its Art Nouveau windows, the large staircase leading to the vault and various bas-reliefs of Carrara marble. On the first floor, there can be found the Sala Consiliare (Council Hall), with its huge central chandelier, the fine coffered ceiling, and the director’s office, which still preserves the furniture of 1934. In the Council Hall, there is also a bronze bust depicting Vittorio Emanuele III, which was found only a few years ago in the basement of the building. Banca d’Italia also commissioned the construction of the fountain in front of the building, Read more [...]
Pane e Pomodoro Beach is a small beach in Bari, located on Lungomare Amando Perotti, about 2 kilometers away from the historical center of the city. The beach owes its name, Pane e Pomodoro (Bread and Tomato), to the habit of the people of Bari, when they were sunbathing, to eat simple bread seasoned with tomatoes. The sandy beach is flanked by a large green space equipped with benches and games for children. On the beach, you can find a bar, toilets and showers. In addition to the sandy shore for access to the sea, there are also wooden piers. HOW TO GET THERE Pane e Pomodoro Beach is located about 2.2 kilometers away from the Bari Centrale train station, or about 30 minutes on foot. Use the map below to find the beach in no time.
Piazza Mercantile is the most important square of Bari, the city’s commercial center since the 14th century, and today a location for cultural events. In the square, we can find the Palazzo del Sedile, with a 16th century clock tower on top, the Palazzo della Dogana, built probably in the 16th century by the Duchess of Milan, Isabella of Aragon, the stone lion, or Colonna infame, and the baroque fountain Fontana della Pigna. SHORT HISTORY Piazza Mercantile, located close to the Porto Vecchio, was home to the Municipality of Bari since at least the second half of the 15th century, when the Palazzo del Sedile was built. At the beginning of the 17th century, under the Sforzas, the area was subjected to a renewal program, after the event of 1601, when most of the buildings in the square were burned to the ground, including the Palazzo del Sedile and the city’s arsenal. The Palazzo del Sedile was rebuilt soon after the fire and embelished with a bell tower. At the beginning of the 19th century, after the municipal seat of the city moved from the Palazzo del Sedile in Via Palazzo di Città, Piazza Mercantile retained the role of Read more [...]
Palazzo della Provincia is a palace in Bari, part of the larger monumental transformation project of the Lungomare Nazario Sauro during the first decades of the 20th century, which hosts today the Pinacoteca Metropolitana di Bari Corrado Giaquinto (Painting Gallery of Metropolitan City of Bari). SHORT HISTORY The Provincial Administration commissioned the design of its definitive headquarters in 1930. The palace, completed in 1936, is the result of the collaboration of the best Apulian architects of the time, coordinated by Luigi Baffa. Severely damaged during the Second World War, today the building houses the offices and the council chamber of the Provincial Administration, the Painting Gallery of Metropolitan City of Bari and the Archives of the city. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The building is characterized by eclecticism that recalls the neo-medieval civil architecture. The palace presents itself as an irregular quadrilateral, alternating Trani stone and red bricks. At the center of the rusticated base, there are five large round arches that give access to a portico in two-color marble. Beyond the upper floors, stands a clock tower, an allusion to the bell tower of the Cathedral of San Sabino, also visible from the Lungomare Nazario Sauro. The clock tower Read more [...]
Palazzo del Sedile (Palace of the Seat), known also as the Palazzo dei Nobili, is a palace located in the historical center of Bari, in Piazza Mercantile. The palace, of which today only the facade remains, was once the Town Hall of the city. SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about a municipal office in Bari dates back to 1466, when the notary Giovanni de Lutiis mentioned a place in Piazza Mercantile, where the Municipality met to discuss the problems of the city. In 1601, a serious disaster occurred, originated from a small fire ignited in Piazza Mercantile, which spread very quickly to the buildings in the square and to the city’s arsenal, where gunpowder and weapons were kept. The explosion caused the death of over 60 people and ruined many buildings, including the municipal palace. In 1602, the palace was rebuilt by the Mayors Nicola Donato and Pietro Ponzo, as a plaque recalls, along with the arsenal and the city wall. In 1604, the Municipality built a small bell tower on top of the building and had a German-manufactured clock installed, which struck every quarter of an hour. The activity of the municipal seat ceased in the early Read more [...]
Porto Vecchio (Old Port) is a small port in Bari, located south-east of the Bari Vecchia, the historical center of the city, enclosed between the Pier of Sant’Antonio and Pier of San Nicola. Inside the port, there are two quays reserved for fishing boats, of 350 and 180 meters. It has 230 berths for boats up to 12 meters in length. The small port is among the most picturesque places in the city, due to the presence of colorful boats and a fish market. At the western edge of the port, we can find the Margherita Theater, and further to the north, on Lungomare Imperatore Augusto, the Fort of Saint Anthony the Abbot. HOW TO GET THERE Porto Vecchio is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Bari Centrale railway station, at the northern end of Corso Cavour.
Fortino di Sant’Antonio Abate is a fort located on the eastern edge of the Bari Vecchia, the historical center of Bari, in front of the Pier of Sant’Antonio. SHORT HISTORY The fort was built for defensive purposes in 1440 on the remains of a tower from 1359. The fort was erected by the Prince of Taranto, Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini, who left his coat of arms on the portal. After the death of the feudal lord, the fort was destroyed by the people of Bari, and then rebuilt between 1501 and 1524 by Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan, and Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, as part of the renewal of the defensive system of the city. Later, the fort was demilitarized and, in 1847, it was taken over by the Municipality. During the following years, the structure was neglected and continued to deteriorate, falling into a state of semi-ruin. The fort was later definitively restored by the Municipality, and today it can be admired in all its splendour. Its spaces are currently used for cultural events. ART A graceful wooden statue of the Saint Anthony the Abbot, also known as Saint Anthony the Great, to whom Read more [...]
The Cathedral of San Sabino is the cathedral of Bari, dedicated to Saint Sabinus of Canosa, whose relics were brought to the city in the 9th century. SHORT HISTORY In the first half of the 11th century, the Archbishop Bisanzio built a church on this ground, later completed by his successors Nicola I and Andrea II. This church was later destroyed by William I, called the Bad, during the destruction of the city from 1156. The current church, which dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, was built by Archbishop Rainaldo on the ruins of the Byzantine cathedral, inspired by the style of the Basilica of San Nicola. For the work, materials from the previous church and from other destroyed buildings were used. The cathedral was consecrated on October 4, 1292. Starting with the 18th century, the building underwent a series of renovations, demolitions and additions. During those times, the facade, the interior of the naves, the interior of the ancient baptistery and the crypt were rebuilt in baroque forms on a design by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. ARCHITECTURE The church is an important example of Apulian-Romanesque architecture. The simple facade is divided by two pilasters in three Read more [...]
Castello Normanno-Svevo (Norman-Swabian Castle) is an imposing fortress in Bari, located on the western edge of the Bari Vecchia (Old Bari), the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The medieval fortification dates back to 1132. The castle was built at the behest of the Norman King Roger II, and was destroyed in 1156 by King William of Sicily, nicknamed the Bad, when he razed the entire city to the ground, except for some places of worship. The fortress was rebuilt in 1233, when the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ordered its reinforcement. The castle underwent numerous transformations in the Angevin period, when Charles of Anjou carried out an extensive restoration involving the north wing of the castle, under the guidance of the architects Pietro d’Angicourt and Giovanni di Toul. Then, the castle became property of Duke Ferdinand of Aragon, who donated it later to the ducal Sforza family. The latter disposed the enlargement of the fortress, which shortly after passed into the hands of Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, who died there in 1557. During this time, the castle underwent radical transformations to adapt to the new demands dictated by the development of heavy artillery. Later, the building Read more [...]
Teatro Margherita is one of the historic theaters of Bari, which currently is undergoing restoration. The theatre will soon be converted into a museum of contemporary art. SHORT HISTORY Teatro Margherita was built to replace the Varietà Margherita, a wooden theater inaugurated on September 5, 1910, which was the subject of violent criticism by both local entrepreneurs, who presented a similar project without obtaining authorization, and by the Petruzzelli family, the owners of the Petruzzelli Theater, which saw in it a potential competitor. The theater was built between 1912 and 1914 near the Old Port of Bari, on pillars, to escape the pact signed between the City of Bari and the Petruzzelli family, according to which the Municipality was committed not to build other theaters on the municipal ground. The Margherita Theater was designed in Art Nouveau style by Francesco De Giglio. He collaborated with Luigi Santarella to make the theater the first building in Bari in reinforced concrete, and unique in Europe for the particular construction on pillars. Being entirely surrounded by water, the theater was connected to the mainland by a pier. The inauguration of the theater took place on August 22, 1914. The theater was damaged Read more [...]
Teatro Petruzzelli is the largest theater in Bari and the fourth largest in Italy. Owned until the fire of 1991 by the Messeni Nemagna family, the theater is currently being disputed between the City of Bari and the previous owners. SHORT HISTORY In 1896, the traders and ship builders Onofrio and Antonio Petruzzelli, originating from Trieste, presented to the Municipality of Bari the project of a new theater by the architect Angelo Cicciomessere, husband of their sister, Maria. Their proposal was accepted and, two years later, in 1898, the work began, financed exclusively by the Petruzzelli family. The theater was frescoed by Raffaele Armenise and decorated in pure gold. Also, the theater was equipped with heating and electric light, and it had a capacity of 2,192 seats. The works were completed in 1903, and the theater was inaugurated on February 14, 1903, with Les Huguenots by the German opera composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. In addition to operas and ballets, important concerts were held at the Petruzzelli Theater. Over time, many great artists performed on its stage: Herbert von Karajan, Rudolf Nureyev, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Liza Minnelli and Luciano Pavarotti. On the night of October 27, 1991, the theater was Read more [...]