After Florence our next stop was Bari. Where’s Bari, you ask? Great question – I had no idea either until Hayley pointed it out on the map, right at the top of the “heel” of Italy’s boot. We had officially entered southern Italy. Neither of us really knew what to expect because on our previous trips to Italy we had spent most of our time in the north, visiting cities have heard of.
When we arrived in Bari we knew our time there would be split 70/30 between working and sightseeing. That was okay because we were spending a good amount of time there, plus Bari and the surrounding area, while beautiful, doesn’t have a ton of tourist sights to behold.
When we go to new cities, we usually stick to the sights in the Old Town. Bari was no different.
What I’ll remember the most is the best pizza in town!
More or less, Bari can be explored in a day. It’s a nice, smallish town to leisurely stroll through. The Old Town has plenty of winding roads and shops to explore. For us Bari ended up being a base to explore the surrounding area and also get some valuable work done for Nice Minn and International Hotdish.
It was also here that we received our new luggage!
Our new backpack (old one’s zipper disintegrated) arrived no problem, but our wheely suitcase never arrived. Apparently the deliveryman “couldn’t find the address”, which apparently is famous parlance in Bari for “I was too busy and didn’t try to find the place”. Anyway, this became a fiasco very quickly.
Long story longer: we had to walk 6 miles to the warehouse to get the package by hand. Long day. This is the route we took.
Aside from our long hike, staying in Bari was a nice, slower-paced change from tourist-heavy Florence.
Daytrip to Alberobello
Alberobello, just a short train ride south of Bari, is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in southeast Italy. This is why.
I (Scott) did not remember why we were coming to this city before we arrived. All I knew was we had a few hardcore working days in Bari and today we were stretching our legs.
We did a little roaming around but the main point of coming to Alberbello was to see these homes. A trullo is “a small dwelling built from the local limestone, with dry-stone walls and a characteristic conical roof” and all in all pretty neat. There are plenty of toursts visiting, though, so if that bothers you, beware.
Daytrip to Lecce
This was the first Roman amphitheater we had the pleasure of seeing. When we arrived it had already closed for the day. Luckily the fence surrounding it was porous.
I was told to stand by these pillars. Most of our photo ops are just random moments.
Here we are at the old city gate. Quote of the day from Hayley: “Don’t mess with Lecce or we’ll chop off your head and put it on the gate!”
Obligatory gelato picture. We went to Natale and it was the 2nd best gelato we’ve ever had after the Florence gelateria by Hayley’s old apartment. I got the flavors coffee and orange-chocolate.
Hanging out in the Piazza del Duomo.
Bari in April is a wonderful slice of Italy. It has plenty of small-town charm and plenty of day trip options to pepper in here and there.
Since you made it this far I’ll reward you with one random story. Using the post office in Bari (and much the same in Italy, I presume) is a huge pain – especially if you want to mail something back to the USA. My advice is to bring all of these things and leave your ego at home.
- Your passport (I didn’t have this)
- Cash (I didn’t have this)
- Visa card
- A translator (I didn’t have one)
- A list of every single thing in the box you’re mailing back (I didn’t have but had to make)
- Value or every single thing in the box you’re mailing back (I didn’t have but had to make)
- 2 hours
- Ability to be yelled at and not take it personally
If you do all these things, you might get lucky and they’ll mail your package. Maybe. All in all we give Bari and the area 3 out of 5 hotdish mitts.
Have you been to Bari or southeast Italy? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Let us know in the comments below.