Sprawling around a maze-like old town, Bari City Centre lies at the heart of this Italian Adriatic port. The area was first settled in the Bronze Age when it was known as Barium and is revered by both Catholics and Orthodox Christians as the spiritual home of Saint Nicholas.
Things to do in Bari City CentreIn the heart of Bari City Centre is the Basilica San Nicola, which was constructed between the 11th and 12th centuries in a Romanesque style. It is an important pilgrimage site for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians as the site of Saint Nicholas’ remains. In addition to mosaic pavements and intricately carved columns, it houses a bishop’s throne dating back to the 11th century. In the Museo Nicolaiano, the basilica’s rich history is brought to life.
Occupying a centuries-old palace is the Museo Civico Bari, which houses the carved walnut wood cradle of the Marquis of Montrone. On the other side of Bari’s old town is the Museo Archeologico di Santa Scolastica where you'll find artefacts dating from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages housed within a centuries-old convent.
Watching over Bari’s old town is the Castello Normanno Svevo, which is believed to have been built by Norman King Roger II in the 12th century. Surrounded by a moat on three sides, it features a central courtyard and four guard towers where art exhibitions are regularly held. Artefacts and information boards detail the castle’s storied past.