This is a tour you can make in just one day or more if you need more time to enjoy some of the stops. Bari is a beautiful city, we love it, not only because we were born here, but because it is a European city that is still liveable.
Here, we’re going to drive you across the city, pointing out the best points of interest in our opinion. In this itinerary, you find all our suggestions about the must-see places to take your photos, the best cultural sites in the old town, and the best street food you can eat while walking or biking in Bari.
Ready? Let’s begin!
Plan with us your Bari city tour. In one day you’ll experience local culture, museums, cathedrals, folklore, and the best street food!
This is a very light and easy Bari city tour you that can make with town wear.
Only two tips:
- You should walk for a bunch of kilometers, so take care to wear comfy shoes;
- If you’re going to walk in town in summer, remember to use your sun lotion and to stay hydrated;
Ps: Don’t buy any food to bring with you, you’ll find the best street food in Bari.
This is a quick tour you can make walking or biking across the city. Of course, if you’re staying in Bari you can spend more time at each stop, it’s up to you!
Way to travel
On foot or by bike
This could be a walking tour if you have enough time and can spend your whole day in town.
But if you’re in a hurry because your travel plan is intense, well, you can rent a bike at VeloService that is actually on your way in this itinerary.
Of course, Spring is the best season to enjoy Puglia, temperatures are perfect around 18° C and 25° C and places are still quiet and no crowded at all. I can say the same for Fall, with the difference that the risk of cold and rainy days is higher.
Also, summer and winter are good seasons to enjoy Bari. But we don’t like the extremes: summer in town is hot and humid, places are too crowded, and maybe you have to get in line for everything; winter could be cold, windy and rainy… like all the winter seasons worldwide!
Anyway, if those are the only seasons you can get your holidays, so they’ll be perfect!
Bari city tour step by step
Your walk is around 2,3 km long, this is just an idea of timetable to enjoy your Bari city tour
Step 1 • Petruzzelli Theatre
Your tour starts at the Petruzzelli Theatre, an icon of Bari, famous for its story, charm, and fantastic red color!
The Petruzzelli is the fourth largest theatre in Italy, and it has a very fascinating story. It was built at the end of the 19th Century and opened on the 14th February 1903. Until 1991 when it was burned up, it hosted hundreds of shows: opera, musical, music concert, and ballet with the most relevant artists worldwide.
In 2006, after the recovery and rebuilding, the theatre became municipality owned and restarted its theatre season.
When you get to the Petruzzelli Theatre, take your time to admire the marvelous architecture. If the foyer is open, try to visit it, sometimes there’s a photograph or art exhibition there. In the end, if something is interesting for you in the program posted on the bulletin boards outside, try to get a ticket for the evening: you won’t regret it!
Step 2 •
The longest seafront of Italy
Walking for two minutes on the street to the left of the Theatre you get to the best seafront of Italy. You know, if you like photography you’ll spend a lot of time here, it’s beautiful at any time of the day!
It’s built around 1927 during the Fascism Era, with its charming buildings and iconic black cast iron streetlights.
Walking on the boardwalk, you find the old fish market at the folkloristic Saint Nicholas Jetty, aka ‘Nder a la Lanz, full of fishermen who are selling their fresh fish early in the morning.
This place with the ancient harbor is perfect for your photo memories. In the background, there’s also another relevant theatre of Bari: yes, the beautiful rose right there!
Step 3 •
Time of museum, time of art
The second Theatre on your way is the Margherita Theatre. It also has a charming story that started in 1910 when the first building was built. The first one was a wooden building, built on stilts to escape the agreements between the Town of Bari and the family Petruzzelli who owned the Petruzzelli theatre, signed to prevent the possibility to erect another Theatre on the land of Bari. So, the Municipality decided to build it on the seawater using stilts!
Just one year later, the wooden structure was destroyed by arson and re-build with fantastic engineering work. It was opened in 1914 as the first building made with reinforced concrete in Bari and the unique Theatre built on stilts in Europe.
It has been renovated many times during these years since its opening and has been closed for decades. But now the Margherita Theatre is beautiful, and it hosts a contemporary art museum. So, if it is open when you get here, try to visit the foyer!
Step 4 • The old town
Now, it’s time to strolling around the old town, starting from Piazza del Ferrarese and Piazza Mercantile, the most famous squares of Bari.
These squares are the access to many narrow streets of the old town, and they’re the places where you find the nightlife of the city.
Mostly at the weekend, these two squares are the meeting point for the young people who like to spend their evenings eating and drinking together.
In these squares, many buildings are relevant, but perhaps the monument that has the most historical value is the Colonna Infame (shameful column). It was also called the Column of Justice because it was actually the pillory of the town.
Step 5 • Walking on the wall
In Piazza Mercantile, there’s a little ramp from which you can get to the city walls, here called Muraglia.
All the people from Bari are very proud of it, and they spend most of the summer evenings wandering here, maybe enjoying a drink.
But if we do the math well, it’s time for an appetizer!
Usually, when we’re strolling on the Muraglia with friends and need something to eat, well, we get a Panzerotto from one of the many Panzerotterie of the city: Venezia 40.
We like their Panzerotti because they are quite authentic and with homemade flavor. But, do you know what’s a Panzerotto?
Panzerotto is very typical street food from Bari. It is pizza dough filled with mozzarella and tomato sauce (the traditional flavor), close like a half-moon and deep-fried, then eaten very warm!
If you want to watch more about it, we made a detailed video recipe, so you can try it before coming and then taste the original one. It could be fun to find the differences!
While you’re eating your Panzerotto, you can walk straight on the Muraglia till you find stairs on your left. Walk down those old stairs and take the street to your left: it’s time to get a part of your proper lunch!
We said you’d have met a lot of local street food!
Few steps far away from the stairs, there’s probably the older bakery of Bari: Panificio Fiore, that’s a must to visit when in the old town.
Here you can take a piece of Focaccia barese: a kind of bread seasoned with tomatoes, olives, oregano, salt, and a lot of olive oil.
For people from Bari (Baresi), Focaccia is a snack in the half of the day, it is a lunch when you don’t get enough time to eat, it is party time because we eat Focaccia at each party since we are born to end of our lives.
By the way, we made a video recipe and a detailed article about Focaccia barese you can read and watch here.
Step 6 •
The religious landmarks
Now you are on Strada Palazzo di Città, so continue to get to Largo Papa Urbano II and turn left, just a few steps to reach the Saint Nicholas Basilica, the main Bari church. The most impressive thing about this religious site is that it is a landmark for two different cultures.
For us, it is the Bari’s patron saint’s home, for Orthodox Christian living in Bari is a warm home for their prayers.
The fusion of these two cultures every Sunday is magical and mystical. It sounds like there are peace and unity instead of differences, which is extraordinary!
Having a crypt reserved for Orthodox could sound weird but, you just think that in Bari, there’s also an Orthodox Christian Russian Church dedicated to Saint Nicholas that calls many Russian devoted every year. But it is far away from the old town, so maybe we will talk about it in future articles or itineraries!
The Basilica was built in Romanesque style from Puglia, known as “Romanico Pugliese” which is an essential architecture style: simple lines e pour decorations, built up using the local stones in the different areas of the region.
We suggest you visit the inside of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas. Try to discover the crypt with the tomb and relics of the patron saint as well. If you’re curious about the fun facts and the folk stories, notice the red column protected in a cage located in one corner of the crypt.
It is named ‘miraculous column’ because Saint Nicholas brought it from Rome to Myra and then to Bari, but this is just the official miracle. There’s also a pop legend about it: if a young lady was looking for an awesome husband, she had to turn three times around the column, then the saint would have done the rest!
When you get out of the Basilica, walk under the arch in front of you and turn left. You take Strada del Carmine, full of little local shops, most with souvenirs, but still folkloric.
Go straight on this long road, you are behind the second of the two major churches in the city: the Cathedral devoted to San Sabino.
It is another fabulous example of white and clean Romanesque style, and we suggest spending some minutes here too.
Step 7 •
Swabian Castle and ice cream
When we said you can visit in one day most of the beautiful things of Bari, we meant t!
So, you can simply get to the Norman Swabian Castle walking from the Cathedral: the majestic fortress that was chosen as a residence by the Emperor Frederick II of Swabia.
Now it is pretty empty and in its large rooms, it hosts contemporary or historical exhibitions.
Follow the Castle moat to see the whole building and then get back to the facade: time to ice cream!
Opposite the entrance of the Swabian Castle, there is a little café named: Bar Gentile. We suggest ordering an ice cream cone or ‘cremolata’: a kind of slushie made with fresh fruit blended with ice cubes until they become creamy.
We guarantee it is one of the most delicious ice creams of Bari, you cannot miss in this Bari city tour!
Step 8 •
Pasta Ladies and street food
While you’re eating your ice cream, you can walk to the most folkloric attractions of Bari: the Pasta Ladies!
But another step before the end of this itinerary is: getting to Largo Albicocca.
A little square set into the old town, surrounded by the typical houses shaped like towers, we suggest visiting at night. This is the Bari street food heaven!
At Largo Albicocca there’s the chance to taste many local food delicacies. We already told about Panzerotti, but here you meet Donna Carmela: the queen of Sgagliozze!
What’s Sgagliozze? This weird name belongs to little cubes of ‘Polenta’ (Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal) deep-fried in oil, served with a bunch of salt, tasted with an iced beer!
Before going to the Pasta Ladies, our last tip is to try another kind of Focaccia barese, made by another famous and historical bakery of the old town of Bari: Panificio Santa Rita.
This Focaccia is pretty different from the first one made by Panificio Fiore we advised to taste. This one is a bit thin and very oily, still super delicious!
It’s time to Pasta Ladies!
Follow the road signed on the map above and get to ‘Arco Basso’: where the Pasta Ladies are.
Usually, especially in the summertime, the ladies who live in this street put outside their doors the little tables to make their fresh Orecchiette: the local fresh pasta typical of the Bari Land.
Now you’re experiencing the most genuine authenticity of this breathtaking city!
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