Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our Costa Cruise: Bari, Italy

Bari is a lovely port town in Southern Italy located on the heel of the "boot" that makes up the Italy's shape.

We left Venice on Monday night and traveled down  the eastern coast of Italy during the night arriving at lunch time. We planned on making our way around without any paid tours since we were pretty close to things at the port.There were several tours available including a tour of the city but we decided to venture on our own.

For tips on what to see in Bari, I used cruise critic's quick and dirty on the city:
This site also has links to the town and region's tourist websites.

We had four hours to wander and made our way through the gauntlet of taxi drivers and tour bus operators and fifteen minutes later by foot we were on our own in the old town. First we walked around the Norman-Swabian Castle (built 1233-1240). This is now home to government offices so a walk-around was all we could get. It was impressive though.
Standing in front of the Norman-Swabian castle.
Then we trekked through old town Bari, enjoying the sights and the gorgeous weather which was a pleasant surprise after chilly Venice (45-50 degrees).

Walking to the square.

Just a little altar tucked in a walkway.
There are several visit-worthy churches in Bari. One of which was in easy walking distance to the port: The Basilica of St. Nicola. Their claim to fame is the this marvelous gilded ceiling and Saint Nicholas' remains in the downstairs crypt. This church is 11th century by the way and entrance was free.

Basilica of St. Nicola

After I hit the church gift shop, ignoring the Groany Groanersons that are my children, we made our way back to the ship to relax and wait for dinner.

Couldn't wait for dinner... loved the food on board... have I said that yet?
Last stop before the port... relaxing by the sea.

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