The Italian port city of Bari is the capital of the Apulia province.
Bari was founded about 150 BC, however there are megalithic dolmens (artificial caves built of stones and stone plates), menhir (standing stones), and “specchie” in the area dating back to prehistoric periods.

Almost from it’s beginnings Bari has been an important commercial center, trading with Greece to the east, the Balkans and the Middle East.

The Romans first arrived in the area in the second half of the fourth century BC and continued to spread through out the area until the end of the fourth century BC. The Roman influence of this era can be seen in the architecture found in the ancient district of Bari.

After the fall of the Roman Empire Bari was invaded by the Byzantine and later by the Saracens.

In 871 AD Bari was freed from the Saracens by the Frankish king Ludwig II who returned it to the Byzantines.

The Normans dominated the area begining about 1009; this was a period of great economic development.

In recent history, two notable events were the 1943 German attack on Bari and the 13th Mediterranean games held in 1997.

Bari has a number of castles and fortifications, just past the port area is the Normanno Svevo Castle, the Castel del Monte and the Swabian Castle.

Bari is a costal city located on the Adriatic Sea. The Corso Vittorio Emanuele divides Bari into two parts. On one side is the ancient city of medieval streets and buildings, on the other, developed after 1820, is a city of straight streets and perfectly square blocks.

The Corso Vittorio Emanuele winds along the Lungomare, or promenade, which is the traditional location for city festivals such as the Fiera del Levante; one of the largest trade fairs in Italy, which takes in place in September.

Crossing the Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the Via Sparano a pedestrian street famous for its shops and great deals, at least as compared to prices in the big cities.

Bari is an important port in the Southern part of the Adriatic Sea. It is a cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Bari’s harbour, provides areas for warehousing, and the repairing, loading and unloading of ships.

The traditional cuisine of Bari are vegetables cooked with traditional orecchiette pasta or cavatelli, or peppers filled with meat or rice and baked in the oven. These dishes can be tasted in the majority of restaurants in Bari. Such as the hotel restaurant Castellinaria, the very nice ristorante Villa Maria, or the Grotta Palazzese.
U.S. citizens can only buy Italian rail passes in the U.S. Don’t ask me why. There are lots of different options, check an agent that sells them.

A very useful contact is the Italian Government Travel Office. They have lots of information about rail passes.

New York: (212) 245-4822
Chicago: (312) 644-0990
Los Angeles: (310) 820-0098

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