Cruise Port Atlas | Bari, Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Bari, Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Bari: Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, Costa, MSC Cruises

Key Attractions: St. Nicholas Basilica, Bari Castle, Bari Cathedral, Trani Cathedral, Swabian Castle, Bitonto Cathedral, Angevin Castle, Castel del Monte, Trulli houses, Church of St. Anthony, Pane e Pommodoro Beach, Bisceglie Beach, Barletta Beach

Bari Attractions

Taxis take a circuitous route to reach the city attractions so often it takes less time to walk
Port to St. Nicholas Basilica - 6 KM, 13 minutes, 12 minutes walking
Port to Bari Castle - 5 KM, 12 minutes, 13 minutes walking
Port to Bari Cathedral - 5.5 KM, 14 minutes, 15 minutes walking
Link to Full-Page Google Map

It was during the Norman and Swabian eras (11th through 13th centuries) that much of Old Bari was built. The Basilica of St. Nicolas was built to receive the remains of its patron saint, spirited away from their home in present day Turkey. Since that time the city has been known as the City of St. Nicolas. Rebuilt in the style of the Basilica is the Bari Cathedral. Nearby is the Norman-Swabian Castle, built and rebuilt to protect the important port and now housing a modern art museum. Just south of the old city is the shopping area known as Murat, named after Napoleon's brother-in-law who ruled the region during the period of French domination. The beautiful Petruzzelli Theater is considered one of Italy's finest.

     

   

Photo of St. Nicolas Basilica

Alberobello's Trulli dwellings

Port to Alberobello - 68 KM, 1 hour 15 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

In the small village of Alberobello visitors will see an unusual style of building called a trullo (trulli is the plural). These mostly-round building have unusual cone roofs built of stone without mortar. The single room buildings are popular with tourists for their rustic charm and are used for vacation housing, barns and for a few locals who cannot afford something more modern. The walls are up to 6 feet thick and there are no windows. The origin of this style of construction is unknown, but it was particularly popular beginning in the 18th century. The village also has the lovely Church of St. Anthony and hosts many summer time festivals

        

   

Photo of Alberobello Trulli houses by Marcok

Trani

Port to Trani - 46 KM, 48 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

During the Middle Ages Trani was an important trading partner with the maritime republics including Venice and Amalfi. During the rule of Frederick II, a large castle-fortress was built to protect the port and a beautiful cathedral was built directly on the sea. The cathedral is dedicated to another St. Nicholas (not the one of Santa Claus fame). During this era, the Jewish community of the city was one of the largest and important in the Adriatic. The Scolanova Synagogue, once converted to a church, has been restored as the city's most historic synagogue. Trani is one of the most popular historic attractions in the region because the old part of the city is much as it was in the medieval era.

 

     

   

Photo of Trani Panorama by Tommytrani, Photo of Trani Cathedral by Zumzum

Castel del Monte

Port to Castel del Monte - 89 KM, 1 hour 10 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Castel del Monte was built by the Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, in the early 13th century, but there is no evidence he ever stayed there. While it is called a castle, it has no moat or drawbridge entrance and was never subject to any war, so some believe that it was in fact intended to be a hunting lodge. It is two stories high and has eight sides. At each of the eight corners is an octagonal tower and each of the floors has 8 rooms. The inside courtyard is also octagonal. Originally it had marble features, but these have been looted over the centuries. It was used as a prison and as a refuge when the plague descended on the area.

        

   

Photo of Castel del Monte by Massimo Catarinella

Bitonto

Port to Bitonto - 29 KM, 33 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Bitonti is a town of mostly medieval architecture about 30 minutes northwest of Bari. It has a castle and many historic churches. The cathedral is of the Norman era and was influenced by Bari's St. Nicholas Basilica. It was built on the foundations of an early Christian church and a tile with a griffin from that early church can be viewed. The most famous sculpture in the church is the ambo (lectern), considered a masterwork of the Norman-Swabian period.

     

   

Photo of Bitonto Cathedral Ambo by 92bari

Bari Area Beaches

Port to Pane e Pomodoro beach - 9 KM, 19 minutes
Port to Bisceglie beach - 41 KM, 46 minutes
Port to Barletta beach - 71 KM, 1 hour
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Bari has a small city beach just south of the old port at Pane e Pomodoro which has been recently improved. There are good small beaches to the south of the city, which are coves surrounded by rock formations. To the north are the larger resort beach areas. The longest expanse of sand within an hour of Bari is at Barletta, which has resort hotels and nice facilities. A bit closer are the beaches near Trani and the coves of Bisceglie.

     

   

Photo of Pane e Pomodoro beach by Podollo

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible