When thinking of Southern Italy, images of the Amalfi Coast, Naples, Pompeii, and the island of Capri come to mind, but this weekend I visited the “heel” of Italy’s infamous boot starting in the city of Bari. We (Steve, Steve’s friend Don, and I) flew from Venice to Bari which was just over a one hour flight. We mainly explored the “Barivecchia” (old Bari) area since it has most of the historical sights. Unfortunately, it was raining and very windy all day, not exactly the 70 degree weather we had naively hoped for.
After walking along the wild sea, we headed inland to see Castello Svevo as well as the Basilica di San Nicola. The Basilica di San Nicola was built between 1087 and 1197 (so, like many things in Italy, it’s very old). Above the aisles of wooden benches is a matronaeum, which is a gallery for women to sit in. The Basilica di San Nicola was one of the first churches to have this design and many structures in the area copied the style. We also visited Bari Cathedral which is older than San Nicola, but less famous. It houses the relics of Saint Sabinus.
Bari Cathedral at night
After all of our walking around in the rain, we found near the Piazza Ferrarese a bar painted bright red that was dedicated to David Bowie (with posters inside and out depicting his best albums) and stopped in to have a few beers before we called it a night. Cin cin (Italian cheers, pronounce “chin chin”) to you David Bowie.