Bari, the City of St. Nicholas
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: BAR-001
Serving as a wonderful introduction to Bari, this tour presents an historical perspective through the city's imposing castle and several cathedrals in the old town.
Walk through Old Town, admiring landmark architecture that includes a castle and two churches that respectively hold the holy remains of Saint Nicolas and Saint Sabin.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a brief drive through downtown Bari, an area that has been associated with Saint Nicolas since the 11th century when his remains were moved there. Upon arriving in Old Town, you will begin a walking tour of its landmarks, the most dominant being the Norman-Swabian castle that is now a symbol of Bari.
A spectacular example of medieval construction, the four-sided castle features a stone bridge over a dry moat, rampart walls and several stone towers. In more recent times, the castle has been used as a prison, army barracks and headquarters of the Department of Environmental and Historical Buildings.
Continuing through Old Town’s warren of narrow streets, you may see woman hand-making orecchiette (meaning “little ears”) pasta on tabletops outside their homes. The uniquely shaped pasta is the favorite throughout the Puglia region at the heel of Italy’s boot.
Before long, you will reach the Cathedral of San Sabino, which according to legend shelters the saint’s relics. It is a masterpiece of Apulian Romanesque design, as is Bari’s more famous Saint Nicolas Basilica, where the remains of Saint Nicolas lie.
After visiting both churches, you will walk along Bari’s ancient defensive walls by the sea and then return to the pier or remain in Piazza Massari to browse on your own.
Please note: This tour includes approximately over 2.5 hours of easy to moderate walking. There are some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sunglasses; sun caps; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.