Italy
Provincia di Bari

Here you’ll find travel reports about Provincia di Bari. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

88 travelers at this place:

  • Day16

    A travel day

    May 17 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We had to leave Hydra on the early ferry as the next one we would’ve missed the flight to Italy. It was quite a nice day travelling on the ferry with school kids and families, then to the chaos of Piraeus port. We went directly to the Athens airport which is a lovely modern airport - lots of shops and bars and eating places, so we found a comfy lounge and relaxed waiting for our flight. Eventually we were called up by Alitalia and boarded our first, almost full flight to Milano! Only a little over two hours and we were there. So we headed for the Ferrari Lounge with our first Italian vinos and a lovely prosciutto and cheese platter to while away the wait for our next flight to Bari! Now this flight was chaotic and packed! So many crazy people with huge carryons that it held up the flight as they had to be checked and sent down to the cargo hold! Memo to self: Never book a Friday afternoon flight in Milano again! The passion and hand gestures - quite amusing to watch it all😆😆
    Then only a hour 20 mins flight and we were in Bari. Then we had the baggage collection chaos and the Hire car chaos! They really are passionate people! Mamma Mia!
    The ultimate end to our day was Larry having to park the car in reverse into a minute driveway on the corner while our host and his wife held the traffic at bay! Finally we slipped into our big red bed ! (Photo attached)
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  • Day6

    Ferry - Train - Ferry

    June 9, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    The 4 berth cabin I had booked on the Sicily - Naples crossing was only made up for 2 - yes, no fighting for space. However, on catching sight of my bunk mate I suddenly wasn’t so sure. A hefty built Sicilian wearing leathers and chewing gum, I assumed he was one of the many bikers I had seen on boarding at Palermo. He was monosyllabic and made no attempt at conversation, despite my best efforts in pidgin Italian. He sported a permanently startled look with high eyebrows - wait a minute - he didn’t appear to have any eyebrows - could they have been painted on, like a bus conductress of old? Surely not - and yet if I closed my eyes I could just hear the gallus announcement of an SMT matriarch ‘this is a country bus, ye cannae get aff afore Faifley’.

    The sail away from Palermo harbour was beautiful. It was a lovely sunny evening as we pulled away from our moorings and the splendid back drop of rolling hills that surrounded the capital. I felt guilty I hadn’t seen much of the place, but the purpose of the trip was as much, if not more, about the travelling experience itself, and doing a bit of a recce for places I would like to return to. Arrivederci, Sicily.

    By the time I was tucked in my comfy berth, my room mate was getting ready to hit the nightlife of the Atlas, with a garish outfit which, coupled with the aforementioned eyebrows, gave him an uncanny resemblance to the drag queen, Divine. In the process of his ablutions, he managed to break the shower head off, leaving it in pieces on the floor. Ah well, I thought, it’ll be a Paisley boadywash for me in the morning.

    After the usual Italian disorganised disembarkation, I made my way to Naples Central and caught the train across the width of Italy to Bari on the Adriatic coast. Like most Italian cities, Bari grew on you with a little perseverance. Newly pedestrianised streets lined with designer shops, and a lovely old town complete with the ubiquitous cathedral. And then on to another ferry - this time from Bari to Patras in Greece. Here’s hoping Divine doesn’t have the same travel itinerary.
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  • Day223

    Putignano

    February 4, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Today we drove a long way in the region of Pulgia without finding anywhere suitable to stay. We passed by large fields of green ground crops, unknown leafless fruit trees, olives and vines all planted in grids. There was a number of animals that had been killed on the roads, including a porcupine! We are noticing more and more differences in the wildlife and vegetation between where we are now and back in Britain.

    We again saw scores of women being prostituted at the side of the road, many of them black. The state of the area was poor and we wondered how much local officials were in the pockets of criminal gangs who siphoned state money off for their own purposes. There was a noticeable increase in inequality, with very poor areas set aside from the gated communities; their security guard standing in front of the chained entrance.

    As we progressed southwards, Trulli (traditional stone built conical huts) began to appear in the fields. Many were too dilapidated to be of use, but others were being used for storing things and a few were in such good condition that people were living in them as part of their houses.

    We'd hoped to stay outside a town, but nowhere presented itself so we stayed in the most suitable place we came accross; a layby type car park off a dual carriageway and near a rubbish site. Given the number of prostitutes we'd seen, Vicky was a little on edge walking up and down the layby, albeit with Poppy, but we weren't disturbed and it turned out to be a reasonably quiet spot.
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  • Day87

    Ristorante - Piizzaa

    December 2, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Eigentli simmer da ane wil mer ines Resti innere Grotte hend welle. Das sinds aber am umboue und s isch zue. Also ab ines Anders.. debii mir simmer na anen Wiehnachtsmärt anegloffe und so wies uusgseht isch da zabig en rechte Event.
    Mer gönd aber wiiter wills schono schön isch im Hellä en Platz z finde.Read more

  • Day15

    Alberobello, Trulli Wonderful

    April 15 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Nothing could have prepared me for the uniqueness of our next stop, Alberobello, not to mention its cuteness factor.

    As we approached the town, we began seeing some examples of what we came here for: the trulli of Puglia.

    Trulli have been around for many hundreds of years, though the oldest surviving ones date back only to the 16th century.

    One of the most common theories for the origin of the Trullo involves the tax laws of 17th Century Italy. It is known that the nobility of the time imposed heavy taxes on any permanent structure. Thus, the theory goes that the peasant families, not able to bear the burden of this tax, built their dwellings so that they could be literally demolished at a moment’s notice! Because a conical roof depends largely on the ‘topmost’ stone to prevent the roof from caving in, the peasant owner was able to literally demolish their house simply by removing this stone. Imagine the taxman's surprise when he arrived at Locorotondo, Alberobello or Fasano, only to find mounds of rubble and virtually no houses! As soon as the inspectors went away, the trulli would spring up again and the locals would move back in!

    A typical trullo has a cylindrical base with a cone-shaped limestone-tiled roof. Originally built without cement, their thick white-painted stone walls ensured coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter. The roof was often painted with an evil eye, a cross, or an astronomical symbol, topped off with an ornamental flourish. In more recent times, the use of mortar is commonplace.

    Walking through the streets, surrounded by these odd little buildings, I was half expecting to run into Smurfette or Papa Smurf, such is the fairy tale feeling of this place.
    We visited the sovereign trullo, which is the only two-storey building with a staircase built into it. The woman working there gave us quite a history lesson, describing how it is believed the design of these buildings originated with the Turkish prisoners who were put to work following their capture during one of the many battles that took place at the time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of different versions as to who dreamed them up, and without any accurate written record, it’s impossible to know which one is true.

    Although they are not exclusive to this city, in Alberobello alone, there are more than eighteen hundred trulli, one of which Brenda and I called home for a night.

    In order to support the enormous weight of the stone roof, numerous arches are built into the walls to distribute the load. Of course, this fact, combined with the shorter average height of the medieval residents, made for a stay fraught with the danger of my head impacting the structure. Naturally, within ten minutes of our arrival, I struck the door frame on the way out, and I have the scar to prove it. The shower stall made for another vertical challenge.

    Other than the constant fear of concussing myself and the contortions required to shower, our stay was delightful, and we could virtually imagine what life might have been like here hundreds of years ago.

    We ended our evening with a wonderful dinner at Casa Nova restaurant, whose staff went to great lengths to accommodate Brenda’s gluten intolerance.

    Any visit to Puglia would not be complete without a visit to this magical place.
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  • Day3

    Mangia, mangia!

    April 3 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We finally arrived at our Airbnb accommodations late last night. We left Vancouver at 6:40 PDT on Monday and arrived at our Bari apartment at around 11:30 GMT+1. Even considering the nine hour time difference, it made for a very long travel day, indeed. After partially unpacking our bags and having a chat with our neighbor, Jen, in Vancouver, we hit the sack a little after midnight and both went out like lights. Unfortunately, my internal clock had me wide awake at 5:00AM, so I guess it'll be a fairly early night for me tonight. Brenda managed to stay asleep until almost 6:30, lucky girl.

    I got out of bed at around 7:00 and went for a little 3km run along the waterfront. I packed only shorts and T-shirts for workout gear and, at 11°C, I received a lot of strange looks from the Italian runners who were all decked out in their track suits. Hardy Canadian blood.

    After I showered, Brenda and I went out exploring and immediately found a little cafe where I had an espresso and a cornetto (a croissant filled with jam) for the ridiculous price of €1.00.

    Brenda and I then walked along the shore and circled the old fortified city before entering in through the wall in search of Largo Albicocca. After Google mapping our way through the narrow, winding streets of the old city, we came to a small piazza that was teeming with people stuffing their faces with all manner of goodies. We were in the right place!

    Bari's street food consists of Focaccia, Sgagliozze and Popizze. Our first stop in Largo Albicocca was to La Sgagliozze de Donna Carmela. This little open air shop consists of a work table, two gas burners and two large pots containing boiling oil. Into one pot of oil, Donna Carmela drops blobs of raw pizza dough, fries it until it's golden brown and serves these Popizze piping hot. She then cuts squares of polenta from a large block and tosses them into the other pot. Once they're golden, they go into a bag along with a sprinkle of sea salt and those are your Sgagliozze. We didn't have any of the Popizze, but the Sgagliozze were scrumptious. They tasted like popcorn but with a palate burning, smooth mouthfeel. They did, however, contain enough oil to stop your heart.

    While we ate our deep fried polenta, we couldn't help but notice other locals coming into the piazza with what looked like slices of pizza and little bottles of Peroni beer. Pizza and beer?!? How could we resist?

    We went off in the direction the pizza slices were coming from and our noses quickly found Panificio Santa Rita, a little hole in the wall that was filled with people waiting to place their orders.

    What we thought were pizza slices turned out to be the Barese version of focaccio. They make a white version, that has only oil and herbs on it, or a rosso style that has oil and fresh tomatoes baked along with the crust. For €2.40 you can have the whole slab, €1.20 for a mezzo (half) or €0.60 for a quarto. Add in a €1.00 bottle of beer and you're good to go.

    Another thing Bari is known for is their Orecchiette. Everywhere you look there are women seated at tables rolling out these little pasta pieces that get their name from their shape. The literal translation of Orechiette is little ears.

    These same stands also sell a variety of baked goods, including one of my personal favorites, Taralucci cookies. These hard, round biscotti are coated with a sweet lemon flavored glaze that makes them irresistable to me. Yup, I came home with a big bag of them.

    I haven't been running a lot lately so I thought I'd slowly ramp up to longer distances as our stay in Italy progresses. However, after our first exposure to Barese cuisine, I'd better crank up the mileage very soon or they'll have to roll me onto the plane back to Vancouver.

    Oh yeah, we're not done eating just yet. At 7:30 we're off to Restaurant Al Raffaello for dinner. Oh my goodness!
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  • Day4

    A Rather Blustery Day

    April 4 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 17 °C

    Despite being exhausted and going to bed with a full belly well after midnight, I'm still operating on Vancouver time and this morning I found myself wide awake at 3:00 AM. I tossed, I turned, I read, and I meditated, but nothing I did brought me back to dreamland. I finally fell asleep as the sky was beginning to brighten and managed to sleep in until 9:00 o'clock. Hopefully tonight will be better.

    The weather forecast this morning was very promising with a high of 21°C, however, by late afternoon the wind would be gusting to 49 KMH! I figured that even with the high winds, at 21°, I'd be fine wearing my shorts. After all, as soon as it hits 10° in Vancouver the convertible cars have their tops down and shorts and sandals are the order of the day. In Bari, not so much.

    I don't know if the temperature ever reached the forecast high, but after an hour of exposure to the elements, my legs were begging to be covered up. And unlike Vancouver, I didn't see another soul wearing shorts!

    In any case, we went for lunch at Pizzeria Bari-Napoli where they offer gluten free pasta and pizza, which is a treat for Brenda and her gluten intolerance. As so often happens in Europe with the narrow streets and tall buildings, Google Maps gets confused and directions can be hard to follow. This is exactly what happened today. We ended up walking around and around the restaurant before we were finally able to settle the GPS signal and find our way inside. The frigid wind made our inability to find the eatery that much more frustrating.

    To make a long story short, the GF pizzas are only available at dinner and we ended up ordering some very lackluster dishes that made us regret not deciding to go and eat elsewhere. Brenda's alternate choice was a €6.00 salad that filled half a small bowl with spinach, large chunks of fennel and grated carrot. The DYI dressing consisted of a bottle of balsamic vinegar, a bottle of EVOO and salt and pepper shakers. My Sicilian spaghetti was equally unimpressive, and we left the restaurant with very a bad taste in our mouths, literally and figuratively.

    Brenda was so hungry we ended up stopping at a little middle eastern restaurant and ordering her a plate of falafels to tide her over until dinner.

    Because the weather was so unpleasant, we decided to come in from the cold and went to see the Van Gogh Alive exhibit at the Teatro Margherita. There were no original works in the exhibit, but there was a recreation of VVG's painting of his bedroom that was very cool to see. Most of the exhibit was a 360° slide show of all his works that were accompanied by his word and a soundtrack of music from each period. The show provided good insight into Van Gogh's troubled life and how it was reflected in his work. I found it most interesting to learn that only one of his paintings sold during his lifetime and for a mere 400 francs at that (equal to about $1900 USD in todays money). Today, some of his works have sold for as much as $82.5 million.

    After the show we returned to our lodging and searched for a Gluten free pizza place for dinner. The reviews for Pizzeria Tana, about 1.8 kms from us, were outstanding and, as a bonus, Brenda found a GF bakery along the way where we could stop and get dessert.

    We headed out the door at around 7:00 and, only a couple of blocks from home, the rain started. Fortunately, I had my little travel umbrella with me, but with the high winds, it offered little protection from the downpour. I left Brenda under an awning and rushed back to the apartment to grab the golf umbrella that our host made available. With our upper bodies protected from the deluge, we soldiered on toward the bakery, only to have the GPS get lost again and have us overshoot it by a couple of blocks. With our feet and pants getting wetter by the minute, we elected to forego the pastries and go straight for the pizza.

    You know there are just some days like that where nothing seems to go right. all the rest of the way to Tana I had visions of it being closed or packed to the rafters or out of GF pizza dough. Surely our miserable day was destined to continue.

    But no. We were warmly greeted and given a table right away. Brenda ordered her GF pizza and I ordered mine with regular dough along with a glass of the house red. While we were waiting for the pies to bake, take out pizzas were flying out the door. There was one employee assigned just to make up pizza boxes for the take-out orders. No sooner did he complete a pile than it was taken into the kitchen to be filled with orders.

    Our pizzas arrived in very little time and they were every bit as delicious as the reviews made them out to be. Brenda said it was the best gluten free crust she had ever eaten. And the pizzas were cheaper than Bari Napoli AND the service was better AND the place was more comfortable.

    By the time we left, the rain had subsided and, if it hadn't been nighttime, I'm sure there would have been a rainbow in the sky to put even bigger smiles on our faces.

    All's well that ends well.
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  • Day48

    Ristorante L'Aratro, Alberobello

    October 16, 2018 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Tonight was our last night in Alberobello so we decided to treat ourselves and we ended a fabulous day with a very delicious dinner at Ristorante L’Aratro. It is a 2018 Michelin recognised restaurant and is in a traditional Trulli hut dating back to the 1400s.

    It was amazing inside with a maze of rooms that opened up onto a enclosed patio area. The staff were very friendly and attentive and the food was amazing. Domenico Laera, owner and chef, opened Ristorante L'Aratro on 4th February, 1987. His dream was to let people know what his parents and grandparents have been handing down to their children - the love and passion for one's own land. I'd say his dream has come true.

    We thought we’d share an entree and luckily we did as it was 5 courses! Beautiful local vegetables, cheeses, meat, seafood and even tripe. Thankfully Brad ate my share of the tripe because it was disgusting. Our entree just kept coming and coming and coming and we were full before our mains even arrived.

    The food was delicious as was the local wine. I have really enjoyed the Italian wines, especially from this region. The maître de served us limoncello to finish off the meal and the chef/owner even came to the table to see how our meal was. He was a character with his bright apron, scarf and braces. He even agreed to have a photo with us.

    It was the perfect end to our very enjoyable stay in Alberobello.
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  • Day46

    The Trulli of Alberobello

    October 14, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    This was one stop I was really looking forward to as I had seen Alberobello often listed on the cutest towns, most picturesque towns, nicest towns in Italy lists. And the drive today was one of the nicer drives we have done. The country side in this area of Italy is exactly what I imagined Tuscany to look like (but the parts we saw didn’t) with rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves and old stone farm houses. It was very pretty. One thing we did notice though was that a lot of the farm houses were abandoned, including some of the bigger estates, and yet the fields around them were all being farmed or were planted with grapes vines or olive trees. We wondered what had happened to the original farmers of the land.

    As we got closer to Alberobello more and more cute little Trulli houses appeared scattered amongst the fields. We even saw a pink one, the only coloured one we saw our entire time there. I couldn’t help but smile as we saw more and more Trulli houses and I was very excited that we were staying in one.

    Alberobello is undoubtedly the Capital of the Trulli with its historic centre, Zona dei Trulli, an Unesco World Heritage Site with a dense mass of 1500 beehive-shaped houses, white-tipped as if dusted by snow. While many are now used for tourist accommodation, shops and restaurants, there are many that are still lived in today. In fact an 86 year old lady still lives in her trulli house next to the shop our host owned. Daniela’s (our host) grandparents used to live in the level below ground with their chickens in the trulli house she now uses for her shop. Her partner uses the downstairs to display and sell his model trulli houses while the upstairs is the accommodation office and the shop that sells pasta, snacks and local wine.

    The first trulli settlements, date as far back as the Bronze Age, while the trulli still intact today go back to 1350AD. Legend has it that the Trullo’s dry-wall construction, without mortar, was imposed on new settlers so that they could dismantle their shelters in a hurry, an efficient means to evade taxes on new settlements under the Kingdom of Naples, and certainly a good way to deter unruly lords. Yet most historians agree that this building technique came about due to the area’s geographical conditions, abundant with the limestone in these constructions.

    The domed roofs of the trulli are embellished with decorative pinnacles that represent the signature of the master trullaro who made or restored it. And some Trullo have symbols painted in white on the roofs. These are religious and mystical symbols that provide protection for the inhabitants.

    Our hostess, Daniela, was lovely and made us feel very welcome. She was concerned though when meeting us that the Trulli house we had booked might be too small for us. I’m sure we’ve put some weight on on this trip but I didn’t think we were that big!! She showed us the house we had booked and let us decide and while it was very cute, it was in fact quite small. Luckily she had a bigger one available which was perfect for our three day stay. It wasn’t as cute as the smaller one but it was still very charming while being more practical.

    We were right in the Trulli zone and couldn’t wait to get out and explore. Unfortunately when we arrived it was a bit overcast but thankfully the next day began with brilliant blue skies that contrasted beautifully against the white tips of the trulli houses.

    We enjoyed exploring the cobblestone lanes while admiring the Trullo and were very happy we had a few days here as our first day got very busy with tour groups arriving throughout the day. Being that it was a tourist destination most of the Trullo shops sold tourist items, a lot of which were quite tacky. But there was a great vibe with buskers playing music, entertaining people as they explored the site.

    I loved this town and I loved walking the lanes, daytime and night. We had a fabulous host and excellent accommodation in the cutest town. We had an amazing three day stay in Alberobello.
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  • Day47

    Sightseeing in Alberobello

    October 15, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We had a lazy lie in today before hitting the streets to explore the sights of Alberobello. First stop was the Trulli church, Chiesa Sant'Antonio, the only Trulli church in the world. The church was built in the space of 14 months and was opened to the public on 13th June 1927. According to tradition the priest, outraged by the spreading of Protestantism, decided to erect a new religious site as a symbol against the heresies and it was dedicated to Jesus Christ King of the Universe and to the saint from Padua, who by that time was known as “the Hammer of the Heretics”.

    The church is built using the same technique as for the trullo, with a few modern tactics. The central dome is 19.80 metres high and the skylight accentuates it even further by another 3.20 meters. The interior is very simple raw stone and the only touch of colour is visible on the wall of the high altar, completely covered by a fresco dating back to the 20th century depicting Christ Pantocrator surrounded by saints.

    Next we made our way through the maze of trulli huts to the other side of the main street where there are fewer trulli huts and the majority of which are lived in by permanent residents. Here we visited the Alberobello Basilica of Santissimi Medici Cosmos and Damiano, yes another church. This was a much simpler cathedral to those we have visited in the past and the art work was very different to the traditional paintings in the other churches. These paintings had a real stylised feel to them and were a bit monotone in colour. I liked that they were different to the norm.

    The basilica stands on a site which during the 17th century was occupied by a rural chapel named after the Madonna delle Grazie. It was later dedicated to the Santi Cosma and Damiano, patrons of the town and the current building was built between 1882 and 1885.

    We then visited the largest trulli hut in the town, Trullo Sovrano. Built during the first half of the 18th century, it is the only trullo with a raised floor and because of this it is called "sovrano" (Italian for monarch, king). Its measurements are extraordinary, with the dome 14 metres high, a sign of the great dry stone building skills reached by the trulli masters.
    During the course of the centuries the trullo was used not only as a private home, but it also hosted two important events in the history of the village: in 1785 it housed the relics of the Santissimi Medici, and it also housed for 14 years the oratory of the Confraternita del Ss. Sacramento.
    Because of its architectonic peculiarity the building was declared a National Monument in 1930.

    After a fun morning of sightseeing we decided to try our Italian/English at the local supermarket and bought some delicious local cheese, meat, salad and biscuits to enjoy for lunch back at our trulli. Great decision as the weather had turned and the skies were getting grey. We enjoyed a very relaxing afternoon, resting our feet, reading and snoozing. A great way to spend a cooler overcast afternoon.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia di Bari, Bari

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