Bari, the capital city of the Apulia region, is a fascinating place, as well as an important point for the trade between Western and Eastern Europe. The city has a spectacular historical center, where you can discover the many artisan shops and the perfume of homemade pasta. In addition to that, the elegant palaces reflect the importance of Bari and trade.
There are many things to visit in Bari, which is why in this article you will find a guide on what to do on a weekend in Bari.
Everyone coming to Bari, either for a week or just a weekend, must visit the historical center of the city, Bari Vecchia. It’s the place where you can find the authentic side of Bari, the elements that make it unique.
In Bari Vecchia, among the little streets and the beautiful squares, there are also some of the main attractions, which you can find below.
Basilica of San Nicola
The Basilica di San Nicola is a must-see in Bari. It is a point of contact between the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and it is in Apulian Romanesque style. The facade is simple and the interiors are decorated with frescoes by Carlo Rosa, paying much attention to details. Furthermore, in the crypt, there is the tomb of San Nicola (Saint Nicholas), which is why the church is very important to orthodox Christians.
Cathedral of San Sabino
The Cathedral of San Sabino, close to the Basilica of San Nicola, is another extraordinary example of the Apulian Romanesque style. In this church, there are many archeological remains, such as a paleochristian church. Moreover, on the altar, the relics of San Sabino are kept, to whom the church is dedicated.
The Norman-Swabian Castle, at the doors of the old town, is one of the symbols of Bari, hence, a must-see attraction during your weekend in Bari. It was built by the Normans in the XII century and subsequently renovated by Frederick II of Swabia. The castle is a magnificent example of medieval architecture, and it is located in a strategic position. Nowadays, it is the headquarter of Soprintendenza per i Beni Ambientali della regione Puglia.
Here for more information.
Piazza Mercantile is a square that gives access to the old town of Bari, considered nowadays as one of the mundane places of the city. In fact, this place often hosts exclusive events and relevant exhibitions. What makes the tourist most interested in the square is the column of justice (colonna di giustizia), also known as the colonna infame (infamous column). It is characterized by a simple aspect and a lion made of white stone.
Palazzo dell’Acquedotto Pugliese
If you’re visiting Bari in just a weekend, you absolutely can’t miss the Palazzo dell’Acquedotto Pugliese. In fact, it is an important building in both architectural and symbolic matters. Firstly, the architecture is a summary of Apulian tradition, as it has symbols and inscriptions on its facade linked to Apulian culture. Also, it is realized in the stone of Trani, which is the material used for many Apulian buildings. Secondly, the palace symbolizes a noble project, which is a collaboration between Apulia, Lucania, and Irpinia to bring clean water to their populations and raise their standard of living.
Palazzo Mincuzzi is at the center of the commercial district of Bari, and, in fact, it is an example of commercial architecture, similar to the ones of the big European capitals. It is a fundamental stop for a visit to Bari because it represents the importance of trade in the city. As a result, the building is very big and it has traditional architectural elements realized with modern materials.
Teatro Petruzzelli is one of the biggest theaters in Italy and the biggest private theater in Europe. It is the main cultural center of Apulia, close to Palazzo dell’Acquedotto Pugliese. The theater was damaged after arson and it was rebuilt in 2009. Nowadays, it hosts many plays and cultural events, as it can host 1500 people.
You can check the program here.
The food you must taste on your weekend in Bari
Apulian cuisine is very varied and has so many dishes that it’s impossible to try them all on a weekend in Bari. In spite of this, there are some dishes that you must try, because they represent the symbols of Apulian culinary tradition. In fact, they are made with the ingredients that the territory offers and nothing more.
Firstly, among the food you must try, there is orecchiette, which are usually made with turnip greens. They are the symbol of Apulian cuisine and one of the most famous dishes. Secondly, you must try cavatelli, often made with ragù, as well as Tiella alla barese, which is made with rice, potatoes, and mussels. Of course, you also have to try burrata, a cheese similar to mozzarella, and focaccia barese, often served with fresh tomatoes and olives.
March 15th, 2021