Bari is among the most important cities in Southern Italy: its municipal territory has a smaller scale than Naples but, sure enough, its magnificent story is second to no other cities. Lapped by the sea, Bari could boast in fact a trade harbor at the crossroads of Mediterraneo Sea: during the centuries, different cultures had met in Bari, also coming from Eastern world. Even at the present day, Levante’s Fair is one the most prominent all around Europe; the main event takes place in September, attracting about two millions of visitors.
Tourist can trace past signs of ancient meeting among several civilizations too, along narrow streets of the millenary urban center or just visiting the Norman Castle, also known as the Svevo Castle: it’s Bari's biggest fortification, built in 1131 by King Roger to defend the city during its tumultuous past. The Norman rule marked in fact a new beginning from the previous period lived under Byzantine domination. However, the Byzantines came back to seek revenge and destroyed the castle a few decades
later: that’s way in 13th century Emperor Frederic II turned it into an enlarged building.
Bari has also to pay honour to Normans because, under their domination, Nicholas the Wonderworker’s
relics had been transferred in the city: since 1087, the crypt of the Romanesque basilica has
been one of the most highly regarded sacred place of Christendom. Beside religious issues, citizens signify their fondness to the patron saint with a feast. Saint Nicholas’Day is scheduled for the earlier day of May and it’s worth a visit: first of all for the peculiar night gathering of fishermen’s boats at the jetty, with people saying goodbye to the saint’s relics, next for the flourish ornaments all around the city.
In spring, weather is warm enough to even take the chance and have a bath, that’s the good of
living on Mediterraneo’s seashore…
Talking about sea, tourist has to remember to taste some of the typical local dishes containing fish!
Other savoury ingredients in Bari’s cookery are wheat and oil or, for sweeties, almonds and cinnamon
which bring with it a striking oriental memory.