The city of Bari is the capital of the Puglia region on southern Italy – locally known as the heel of the foot of the peninsular. It is an ancient port on the flat olive-covered coastal plain facing the Adriatic Sea. Bari has an old quarter by the harbour and a modern centre alongside, built on a grid pattern. Leading out from these are largely modern suburbs. The international airport is just a mile inland to the west of the city. Car hire in Bari is available from our airport branch, and you'll find the SS16 links with the resorts along the coast in both directions while, a short way inland, the A14 motorway leads north to Foggia and south to Taranto.
Bari used to have a fearsome reputation as a run-down port full of run-down people. There's still industry and boats still leave for the Balkan shores opposite, but the city itself has been spruced up recently. Rent a car in Bari and you'll be able to tour the sights and savour the atmosphere of what is quite an affluent city. It can still be authentically salty at times but Bari is now a fascinating place to visit. Bari Vecchia, the old town, on a peninsular sticking into the sea, is the place to start. There's a warren of old streets to explore. You'll find they open up into piazzas lined with pavement cafes. The palm-lined old waterfront is pretty and look out for the art gallery and archaeological museum. Other highlights include the Basilica di San Nicola, a church dedicated to the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nearby, you'll find the Cattedrale, a massive Romanesque landmark, and the imposing waterfront fortress, Castello Svevo. Head east to find the informal market, where fishermen sell what they've just landed, and the small sandy beach is popular with locals.
Opening hours: Mo-Fr 0800-1300 1530-1900, Sa 0800-1300, Su closed
Address: Via Luigi Ricchioni 26
Opening hours: Mo-Fr 0730-2400, Sa-Su 0800-2400
Address: Palese Airport
Opening hours: Mo-Su 1000-2000
Address: Via Caduti del lavoro 3/5