The best way to get to know the city is when when you have no expectations, the chances of disappointment are automatically less. Puglia is known for its picturesque towns, but next to them Bari seems to be unnoticed. Being in Italy is already reason for happiness, enjoying a warm summer day discovering the south of this beautiful country increases that happiness at least twice. I’m very glad I decided to spend a weekend in Bari before going on a Puglia road trip.
Like many of Puglia’s cities and towns, the majority of what interested me to Bari lies within the walls of the old city, Bari Vecchia. I didn’t really do anything special, just wandered with camera in hand, hoping that I captured the best of what makes Bari such a lovely city. Bari Vecchia impressed me with its size, and it was also a great hiding place from the strong midday sun, but in fact the people and their habits here attracted my attention the most.
Between the walls of the houses I came across elderly woman at their windows and doorways preparing the type of pasta you eat in Puglia, orecchiette (translated as ‘little ears’). I found orecchiette on the menu in every restaurant I visited, but to really understand how it is made I had to spend some times with these ladies.
Next to the Bari Vecchia is Porto Vecchio (old port), every morning the fishermen bring their catch there. I was drawn to this place by the sound. Among the boats, fishermen were engaged in a very intense activity. They were repeatedly slamming octopuses on the rock, with very strong force and very emphasised movements. ‘Arricciare il polpo’ (to curl the octopus) is an ancient tradition, a real art to make the tentacles more tender. I was shocked and amazed at the same time.
The last scene that stuck in my memory from Bari is street fashion. I saw a lot of girls dressed the same or very similarly, in short skirts or pants with high black boots on their feet. It doesn’t occur to me to wear boots in the summer when it heats up to almost 40ºC, but what do I know?! Italians have always set fashion trends.
I hope you like this little photo diary I put together to share my time adventuring through Bari. Let me know if you have visited Italy and how did you like it. If anyone has any feedback I’d be so appreciative to receive your comments and questions below.