Interesting facts about Bari


Bari is the capital city of Apulia region, in southeastern Italy.

The city is situated on the Adriatic Sea.

As of September 2020, the population of Bari is about 330,000 people. It is the largest urban area on the Adriatic Sea.

The city covers a total area of 117 square kilometers (45 square miles).

The average altitude is 5 metres (16 feet) above sea level.


This ancient city can trace its roots back more than 2,000 years when it was founded by the Peucetii (Iapygian tribe which inhabited western and central Apulia in classical antiquity).

Greek influence was strong, and under the Romans, who called it Barium, it became an important port, the harbour being mentioned as early as 181 BC. Fishing was significant in Roman times.

Bari was conquered and ruled by the Goths and Lombards as well as the Byzantines.

The Byzantines left the deepest impression on the city – they were in Bari at various times between the 7th and 12th centurie.


A Saracen stronghold in the 9th century AD, the city became the seat of the Byzantine governor of Apulia in 885.

Bari was granted provincial status by the Holy See in Rome in 1025, and thereafter became a center of Catholicism.

It was captured for the Normans by Robert Guiscard in 1071.

The Pontifical Basilica di San Nicola was founded in 1087 to receive the relics of this saint, which were surreptitiously brought from Myra in Lycia, in Byzantine territory. The saint began his development from Saint Nicholas of Myra into Saint Nicholas of Bari and began to attract pilgrims, whose encouragement and care became central to the economy of Bari.

Pontifical Basilica di San Nicola

Peter the Hermit preached the First Crusade there in 1096, and a large party of crusaders embarked from its port.

Razed by William the Bad of Sicily in 1156, Bari acquired new greatness under Emperor Frederick II (reigned 1220–50).

An independent duchy under a succession of rulers from the 14th century, it passed from the Sforza family to the kingdom of Naples in 1558 and became part of the Italian kingdom in 1860.


Than industrialization and urbanization began to occur in earnest, resulting in the modern city of Bari today.

The old town was the heart of pre-Roman and Roman Bari. The narrow streets of the old town, some of them more like alleyways, weave into an atmospheric labyrinth. Among its picturesque old houses are several dozen churches and even more shrines hidden in its walls and tiny squares. It’s easy to get lost, but the area is small enough that you’re sure to find your way out quickly or come to the cathedral or San Nicola.

bari old town

Bari Cathedral is the cathedral of Bari, senior to, though less famous than, the Basilica of St Nicholas in the same city. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto, as it was previously of the archbishops, earlier bishops, of Bari. It is dedicated to Saint Sabinus, a bishop of Canosa, whose relics were brought here in the 9th century.

Bari Cathedral

The Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas is an Eastern Orthodox church building in Bari. The Russian Orthodox Church has a special veneration for St Nicholas, and many Russian pilgrims came to Bari. At the beginning of the 20th century The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society decided to build a church and pilgrim house for Russian visitors.

Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas

The Castello Svevo is a castle in Bari. It was built around 1132 by Norman King Roger II. It is surrounded by a moat on all sides, except the northern side, which used to border the sea and can be accessed from the bridge and the gate on the southern side. Castello Normanno-Svevo is mainly composed of the Aragon walls and the main Hohenstaufen tower. Currently the castle is used for exhibitions.

castello svevo

The Teatro Petruzzelli is a symbol of both Italian musical excellence and architectural beauty and harmony – currently owned by the Messeni Nemagna family, it is the main theater in Bari, the fourth largest in Italy, and the largest private theater in Europe.

teatro petruzzelli

The Pinacoteca metropolitana di Bari or Painting Gallery of Metropolitan City of Bari is a public gallery of paintings and museum of artworks in Bari. The gallery was founded July 12, 1928 and initially accommodated at the Palace of Government. In 1936 it moved to the Palace of Province, along the sea boulevard in Bari, where it now stands. The Pinacoteca was named in honor of the painter Corrado Giaquinto.

painting gallery of metropolitan city of bari

The Stadio San Nicola is a multi-use all-seater stadium designed by Renzo Piano in Bari. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of F.C. Bari 1908. The stadium’s design resembles a flower. To create this particular design, the stadium consists of 26 ‘petals’ and upper tiers of the higher ring which are separated by 8-metre empty spaces, sufficient to guarantee satisfactory security conditions.

stadio San Nicola

It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, a port and university city.

Bari’s cuisine is based on three typical agricultural products found within the surrounding region of Apulia, namely wheat, olive oil and wine. The local cuisine is also enriched by the wide variety of fruit and vegetables produced locally.