ICIC 2020 Venue & Tour

Bari Impression


     Bari is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in southern Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples and Palermo, a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas. The city itself has a population of 326,799, as of 2015, over 116 square kilometres, while the urban area has 750,000 inhabitants. The metropolitan area has 1.3 million inhabitants.

    Bari is made up of four different urban sections. To the north is the closely built old town on the peninsula between two modern harbours, with the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035¨C1171) and the Hohenstaufen Castle built for Frederick II, which is now also a major nightlife district. To the south is the Murat quarter (erected by Joachim Murat), the modern heart of the city, which is laid out on a rectangular grid-plan with a promenade on the sea and the major shopping district (the via Sparano and via Argiro).

   Modern residential zones surrounding the centre of Bari were built during the 1960s and 1970s replacing the old suburbs that had developed along roads splaying outwards from gates in the city walls. In addition, the outer suburbs developed rapidly during the 1990s. The city has a redeveloped airport named after Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtya Airport, with connections to several European cities.




   The Basilica di San Nicola (Saint Nicholas) was founded in 1087 to receive the relics of this saint, which were brought from Myra in Lycia, and now lie beneath the altar in the crypt, where are buried the Topins, which are a legacy of old thieves converted to good faith. The church is one of the four Palatine churches of Apulia (the others being the cathedrals of Acquaviva delle Fonti and Altamura, and the church of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano).




      Bari Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Sabinus of Canosa (San Sabino), was begun in Byzantine style in 1034, but was destroyed in the sack of the city of 1156. A new building was thus built between 1170 and 1178, partially inspired by that of San Nicola. Of the original edifice, only traces of the pavement are today visible in the transept.

     An example of Apulian Romanesque architecture, the church has a simple Romanesque facade with three portals; in the upper part is a rose window decorated with monstruous and fantasy figures. The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by sixteen columns with arcades. The crypt houses the relics of Saint Sabinus and the icon of the Madonna Odigitria.


     The interior and the facade were redecorated in Baroque style during the 18th century, but these additions were removed in a 1950s restoration.

     The Petruzzelli Theatre, founded in 1903, hosted different forms of live entertainment, or nineteenth century ¡°Politeama¡±. The theatre was all but destroyed in a fire on October 27, 1991. It was reopened in October 2009, after 18 years.

     The Norman-Hohenstaufen Castle, widely known as the Castello Svevo (Swabian Castle), was built by Roger II of Sicily around 1131. Destroyed in 1156, it was rebuilt by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. The castle now serves as a gallery for a variety of temporary exhibitions in the city.


     The Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari (Provincial Picture Gallery of Bari) is the most important art gallery in Apulia. It was first established in 1928 and contains many paintings from the 15th century up to the days of contemporary art.


     The Russian Church, in the Carrassi district of Bari, was built in the early 20th century to welcome Russian pilgrims who came to the city to visit the church of Saint Nicholas in the old city where the relics of the saint remain.


     The city council and Italian national government were recently involved in a trade-off with the Putin government in Moscow, exchanging the piece of land on which the church stands, for, albeit indirectly, a military barracks near Bari's central railway station.


     Barivecchia, or Old Bari, is a sprawl of streets and passageways making up the section of the city to the north of the modern Murat area. Barivecchia was until fairly recently considered a no-go area by many of Bari's residents due to the high levels of petty crime. A large-scale redevelopment plan began with a new sewerage system, followed by the development of the two main squares, Piazza Mercantile and Piazza Ferrarese.