Welcome to Bari

If Lecce is the south’s Florence, Bari is its Bologna, a historic but forward-looking town with a high percentage of young people and migrants lending it vigour. More urban than Lecce and Brindisi, with grander boulevards and better nightlife, Bari supports a large university, an opera house and municipal buildings that shout confidence.

Bari, Italy is the capital of Puglia, the region in the heel of the Italian “boot.” It’s also a major transport hub not only for Puglia, but for ferries and cruise ships leaving the port for other destinations in the Mediterranean.

But Bari’s much more than a capital and transportation hub! It’s also an off-the-beaten-path destination boasting spectacular gems, from top-notch cuisine to historic castles.

And getting to Bari is easier than you might think. You can fly into Bari’s international airport!

Most travellers skip Bari on their way to Puglia’s big-hitter, Lecce (the towns have a long-standing rivalry, especially over soccer), but Bari doesn’t lack history or culture. The old town contains the bones of St Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) in its Basilica di San Nicola, along with a butch castle and plenty of unfussy trattorias that have the local nosh – cucina barese – down to a simple art.

The second-largest town in southern Italy, Bari is a busy port with connections to Greece, Albania and Croatia, and sports an international airport with connections to much of Europe.