How to Spend 2 Days in Bari
As Puglia’s capital city and the largest port, Bari is the perfect base for exploring the region. Take a day to get to know the city’s old town and then set off to discover Puglia’s unforgettable hilltop and seaside towns. Here are your options for two culture-filled days in Bari.
Day 1: Bari’s Old Town (Bari Vecchia)
**Morning:**Push past Bari’s modern apartment blocks and chaotic port to the old town at the city’s heart. Explore Bari Vecchia, a warren of tiny lanes dotted with historic churches and a medieval fortress, via a self-guided audio tour or with a guided walking, Segway, bike, or rickshaw tour.
**Afternoon:**Food is fundamental in Bari, and many guided tours have a culinary slant, weaving together the architecture and cuisine of Bari Vecchia. The highlight is often a stop on one of Bari’s “pasta streets,” quiet back alleys where local women set up tables to hand-shape traditional orecchiette pasta.
**Night:**Once you’ve gotten to know Bari’s heart (and stomach), set out for a short excursion. Options include the Castel del Monte fortress, seaside village of Polignano a Mare, medieval town of Conversano, or ruins of the ancient city at Gnatia. For gourmands, a cooking class in Bari instead provides both dinner and a cultural experience.
Day 2: Puglia and Beyond
**Morning:**Bari is a well-connected ferry and cruise-ship hub. Take advantage of its location to see highlights along the coast or in the countryside. Early risers can opt for a day at sea with a local skipper to fish off Polignano a Mare and dine on the day’s catch.
**Afternoon:**Head to the neighboring region of Basilicata to tour one of Italy’s most unique towns, the Sassi of Matera. This hilltop clutch of ancient cave dwellings has been named a European Capital of Culture, and tours often combine visits with tastings of regional culinary specialities.
**Night:**Dive into Puglia’s history and culture by opting for a trip to see the unique trulli, or fairytale-like stone cottages, in the town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pair your visit with a wine tour at a nearby estate to taste wines produced in Puglia’s countryside.