"Bari, Italy" Top 5 Page for this destination Bari by karenincalifornia

Bari Travel Guide: 129 reviews and 322 photos

Not exactly a place for time shares

I had a hard time finding any information on the city before I got to Italy and there is a good reason. This is not a popular tourist destination. Bari, located on the Adriatic sea (eastern side of Italy), is very industrial. This area of Italy is as flat as Kansas and not scenic like other parts of Italy. The city is also reputed to be a high crime area.

When we rented our car at the Rome airport, I was asked where I was taking the car. I replied "Umbria, Tuscany and Bari." The rental agent warned me, "Keep your eye on the car in Bari." When I asked him more, he said car theft was high in Bari. That worried me all week, because we had planned to park the car in Bari while we went across the Adriatic to Montenegro. My worries increased when I read in our travel book that in the past armed guards were necessary to escort tourists around the old town Bari (but apparently not so much now). In the end, we took the car with us on the ferry because I was too scared to leave the car parked for several days in an open lot in Bari.

We arrived at Bari in the afternoon and bought our tickets for the ferry to Bar, Montenegro. The ferry terminal was an interesting spot - it was a colorful collection of cultures waiting to cross the Adriatic. Most were Italian, Greek, Serbian, Kosovar or Albanian.

We were hungry, so we thought we would venture into town looking for a place to eat. That was when we took the picture above. I didn't take too many photos because the area was very depressed. Near the ferry terminal, the area is mostly residential apartments. Another VTer commented on his page that walking around Bari is like walking into someone's living room, and he is right.

We spent time only on the waterfront and perhaps it was the worst there. The waterfront is mainly decaying apartment buildings, hundreds of TV antennae, laundry lines strung from building to building, barbed wire and a brick wall around an elementary school. This is not the place where you will find cheerful sidewalk cafes with bright umbrellas and well-heeled patrons sipping on their Cinzanos, or enotecas with polished wooden counters and a cheery Italian bartender serving you a crisp, chilled pinot grigio.

In fairness to Bari, we did not walk further into the old town, which I'm sure had more to offer, but we gave our body guard the week off, so we thought it was best to stick close to the ferry terminal.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A place to take the ferry across the Adriatic
  • Cons:Reputation for high crime, rough around the edges, rough inside, too
  • In a nutshell:If you are vacationing and have only a week or two in Italy, you can bypass this place. There are so many other more fascinating sights in beautiful Italy.
  • Last visit to Bari: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated Feb 25, 2005
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Reviews (10)

Comments (13)

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    VERY interesting! as I have many times thought I would be going to Bari, to catch a ferry somewhere, over the past 35 yrs, but NEVER did! But we did love Puglia.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    Hi Karen, glad to see you back online. Bari doesn't exactly sound like it was the high point of your trip -- good that you had a Serbian phrase book to help pass the time. I never knew the story about how Bari got its "Bambino Stadium".

  • Jul 23, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    I have never been to Bari but I'm going to Puglia next week!! I heard the Salento area (south of Bari) is much better than Bari. I do hope so!

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Brought back memories of leaving Bari for Igoumenitsa, Greece in our motorhome, in 1997. Went to sleep in the van at night and awoke in Greece. To rain!!!!!!

  • May 11, 2006 at 11:23 AM

    I dont think the harbour zone is a pleasant place in any place in the world, a long time traveller like u should know this , anyway i agree with ronaldinho's comment, there's a lot more to see in a city than its harbour zone :)

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2006 at 5:17 PM

    Bari certainly sounds interesting, I have an overnight stop planned there towards the end of the month.

  • diocletianvs's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2005 at 2:16 PM

    I would defiitely give Bari a try - when you read things about Genova you also find similar things about crime, but then - Genova is my favourite Italian city. Maybe it is just my love for harbour cities.....

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2005 at 11:53 PM

    that is why many italians from the north want to separate from the south

  • Ronaldinho86's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2005 at 9:58 AM

    you've seen only the harbour area but the hearth of the city isn't there and what you've said about crime isn't true now:the city has improved during and your infos are old.you haven't see many things:it's very difficult to judge a city in so little time!

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2005 at 1:12 PM

    That "most babies in Italy" stadium reward thing got me to thinking. Boy... steroids would the WRONG way to go there, huh? They help you hit home runs, but cause problems when you're heading home. (Little Barry Bonds humor. ) 91

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