The Secret World of Bari

Bari, the vibrant capital of Italy’s Puglia region, is a city steeped in history and culture. As a solo female traveler, I found Bari to be both enchanting and welcoming. With its picturesque old town, bustling markets, and delicious food, Bari offers a secret world to authentic Italian experience. The city’s history dates back to the Roman era, and its strategic coastal location has made it a melting pot of cultures over the centuries.

Cultural Landscape of Bari

Bari’s cultural landscape is a rich tapestry of traditions, art, and architecture. The city is known for its beautiful churches, such as the Basilica di San Nicola, which attracts pilgrims from around the world. The Teatro Petruzzelli, one of Italy’s most important opera houses, is a must-visit for culture enthusiasts. Walking through Bari, you’ll discover a blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture, reflecting its diverse historical influences.

Things to Do in Bari for Solo Female Travelers

Exploring Bari Old Town

Bari Old Town, or Bari Vecchia, is the heart of the city’s historical charm. Wandering through its narrow, winding streets feels like stepping back in time. Key landmarks include the Basilica di San Nicola, the Bari Cathedral, and the Castello Normanno-Svevo. Each corner reveals a new story, from ancient stone walls to lively piazzas where locals gather.

Foods in Bari

Bari is a paradise for food lovers. The local cuisine is a reflection of the region’s rich agricultural and maritime heritage. Must-try foods in Bari include:

  • Orecchiette: These ear-shaped pasta are often served with broccoli rabe or a rich tomato sauce.
  • Focaccia Barese: A local variation of focaccia topped with tomatoes, olives, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
  • Sgagliozze: Fried polenta squares, a popular street food.
  • Seafood: Fresh from the Adriatic Sea, Bari’s seafood is a highlight. Try the octopus, sea urchins, and mussels.

Great Restaurants in Bari

During my stay in Bari, I discovered some fantastic restaurants:

How Many Days Should I Spend in Bari?

To fully experience Bari, I recommend spending at least three days. This allows you to explore the main attractions, enjoy the local cuisine, and take a couple of day trips. However, if you’re short on time, two days can be enough to cover the essentials.

Three Days Itinerary in Bari

Historical day 1: Discovering Bari Old Town

  • Morning: Start with a visit to the Basilica di San Nicola and the Bari Cathedral.
  • Afternoon: Explore the Castello Normanno-Svevo and wander through the narrow streets of Bari Vecchia.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner at La Tana del Polpo.

Delicisous day 2: Cultural and Culinary Delights

  • Morning: Visit the Teatro Petruzzelli and the Pinacoteca Metropolitana di Bari art gallery.
  • Afternoon: Take a food tour to sample local specialties like orecchiette and focaccia.
  • Evening: Dine at Al Pescatore and enjoy fresh seafood.

Relaxed day 3: Day Trip and Relaxation

  • Morning: Take a day trip to Alberobello or Polignano a Mare (details below).
  • Afternoon: Relax at Pane e Pomodoro Beach.
  • Evening: Have a casual dinner at Mastro Ciccio.
the secret world of Bari

Day Trips from Bari

Bari is an excellent base for exploring the Puglia region. Here are some recommended day trips:

  • Alberobello: Famous for its unique trulli houses, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit. Transportation: Trains from Bari Centrale to Alberobello take about 1.5 hours and cost around €5-€7.
  • Polignano a Mare: This picturesque seaside town offers stunning cliffside views and crystal-clear waters. Transportation: Trains from Bari Centrale to Polignano a Mare take about 30 minutes and cost around €3-€5.

Fly Out of Bari or Brindisi?

Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI) is the main airport serving the region and offers numerous international and domestic flights. It’s conveniently located about 8 kilometers from the city center. Alternatively, Brindisi Airport (BDS) is another option, located about 115 kilometers from Bari. Both airports are well-connected, but Bari’s airport is more convenient if you’re staying in the city.


Bari, Italy, is a captivating destination with a rich cultural landscape, delicious food, and friendly locals. Whether you’re exploring the historic old town, enjoying the culinary delights, or taking day trips to nearby towns, Bari has something for everyone. As a solo female traveler, I found Bari to be a safe and welcoming city, making it an ideal choice for your next Italian adventure.

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