Visit the Basilica of St....
Visit the Basilica of St. Nicholas and the Cathedral of the Odegetria in the old city. These are both magnificent edifices which date back to the period of the Norman conquest, as well as being very active living parishes with outstanding music and (during our stay) almost constant events. The crypt at St. Nicholas actually has the bones of Santa Claus. Turning a corner and running smack into a religious procession, 'La Festa di Santa Maria delle Grazie' according to the lady I asked... A big decked out statue of the the Virgin Mary being borne through the streets accompanied by a booming bleating oomp-pah band and a large crowd of faithful.
The "Borgo Murattiano"
Inaugurated by the king of Naples Gioacchino Murat who laid its foundation stone at the beginning of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in 1813,the Murat Quartier or Borgo Murattiano (the commercial and economical center of Bari) is characterized by rationality,with its long and orthogonal streets,where it's very difficult to get lost.During the XX century,it was deeply modified to face up the city's expansion,so a big part of its original architectural heritage got lost,but,at the same time,it was enriched by some great and innovative examples of architecture,scattered in this area.
The main streets are:
- Corso Vittorio Emanuele II,the wide boulevard built on the site where the old wall surrounded the Old Town,which starts from the Margherita Theatre,built on the sea in the old harbour in Liberty style and now closed for reconstruction,and ends with the public garden of Piazza Garibaldi,near the Gothic Venetian Fizzarotti Palace.Halfway,in Piazza della Libertà,the Prefecture Palace (XIX century),a former Dominican monastery in rococò style,is erected,in front of the Municipal Theatre (1840-1854;designed by A. Niccolini),dedicated to the great Barese compositor Niccolò Piccinni and set between the two wings of the Town Hall.
- Via Sparano,the 800mt long pedestrian street,the most fashonable street in Bari,a sort of paradise of the exclusive shopping.It goes from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to Piazza Aldo Moro,seat of the railway stations,passing through Piazza Umberto I,a big green square seat of the "Università degli studi di Bari".The main buildings in Via Sparano are the imposing Mincuzzi Palace and the San Ferdinando's Church (1844-1849).
- Corso Cavour,the beautiful tree-lined road of the Borgo Murattiano,adorned with Art Nouveau style buildings,where the Camera di Commercio (1889),the Banca d'Italia building (1932) and the Petruzzelli theatre (1903) stand.
Bari, Italy - A Trip into the past
"Be on your guard when visiting Bari, but Enjoy!"
Close to the Bari harbour there is the old city with St Nicholas Basilica, the chatedral and the svevo castle.
Pay attention! It can be unsafe for you to go alone in the old city, expecially if you bring with you cameras, mobiles and so on. There are a lot of pickpockets.