Bari is the largest and most important city of Apulia (even larger than Lecce) and stands on the Adriatic coast. It's mainly famous for being one of the exit doors of Italy, where travellers leave on ferries for neighboring countries. The city authorities, however, have been trying to raise its tourism profile and awareness of Bari's old town, which has retained its ancient Medieval plan and contains many historic buildings and sites. The old town was the heart of pre-Roman and Roman Bari and it is now possible to find several hip bars and restaurants open "from dusk til dawn" in this once dark and unsafe zone.
There are approximately 40 various cheap flights into Bari (BRI) from various European airports.
Check www.trenitalia.comfor time tables and prices.
You can use Onbus Company to travel from Sicily to Puglia.
Bari is the destination for ferries incoming from the Greek port of Patra and Igoumenitsa. If you are traveling on a Eurorail during the low season, the cost is 16 Euro, during the mid season, 31 Euro. A normal ticket to Igoumenitsa is about 29 euros on the deck and in low - season. There are also ships to Bar and Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and to Durrës (Albania). Ferry operators are either Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, Azzurraline or Jadrolinija. An up-to-date site with international ferry schedules is here.
There are many public buses. A ticket is about 1,50 euros.
There a lot of places to see in Bari, especially in the ancient part of the city, called Bari Vecchia by locals. It's a beautiful mediaeval quarter in which there are a lot of important churches. The cathedral of Saint Nicolaus, for instance, has a gold ceiling and a crypt.
There is a small town - 20 minutes outside of Bari named "adelfia - Montrone". The patron saint is San Trifone. Nov 9 is the start of a three day celebration. On Nov 9 is the early evening a giant beautiful balloon is release which signifies the start of the festival. On the 10th, the statue of San Trifone is brought out of the church and paraded around the town. Bands from all over Italy come and perform on the outdoor stage. Fireworks are displayed throughout the evening into the early morning. The different men's club compete on which club can have the biggest, loudest and spectacular display. Vendors surround the town with goods,food and gifts. Often there are over 200 parked buses from all over southern Italy. It really is a popular celebration.
The Saint of the city is Saint Nicolaus who is celebrated on December 6th . The city's main celebration, however, takes place in May 6-8th with historical reconstructions, popular music and fireworks. For this event many pilgrims come from all over the world.
Bari Vecchia is really a beautiful quarter but because of narrow and crowdy streets and tourists presence is the preferred place for local pickpocketers.
Nice towns to discover around Bari are Bitonto, Matera, Alberobello and Trani. There are many direct trains a day. Ticket to Matera or Alberobello is about 4 euros in one direction.