Bari, the City of St. Nicholas
Duration: 4 hours
Tour Code: BAR-001
Serving as a wonderful introduction to Bari, this tour presents an historical perspective through the city's imposing castle and several cathedrals in the old town.
A short coach transfer from the pier brings you to the heart of Bari, where you will enjoy an enlightening walking tour of this charming town that was settled in the 2nd century B.C. More than a millennium later, it was controlled by the Normans, who built a castle to protect Bari's harbor. Over the centuries, the stone castle was restored to repair damage and a rampart wall was constructed to further fortify the town. Your walking tour begins at the castle, where you'll enjoy an up-close view of its stone entry bridge, protective corner embankments and lookout towers. The fortress also houses the Superintendency for Historical, Environmental, Artistic and Architectural Heritage of Apulia, the rather dry surrounding region that forms the heel of Italy's boot.
Continuing on, you'll follow your guide through Bari's narrow streets and stop to watch several women sitting outside their homes, adroitly making orecchiette pasta using a small hand knife. Shaped like small ears, this popular style of pasta has long been associated with the region. Next, you'll see the Cathedral of Saint Sabin and Saint Nicholas Basilica. The Basilica's crypt holds the relics of St. Nicholas, the patron saint known for giving gifts, especially to children. Over the years, St. Nicholas became better known as Santa Claus.
After a walk along the ancient walls that overlook the sea, you will find yourself at Ferrarese Square where the guided portion of your tour concludes. At this point, you will have the option rejoining the coach and traveling back to the pier, or continuing on to further explore Bari at your leisure. Perhaps visit elegant Via Sparano for some shopping. Those who elect to remain in town will return to the ship on their own. A local shuttle bus can be found at Piazza Massari to take you back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately over 2.5 hours of easy to moderate walking. There are some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sunglasses; sun caps; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.