Bari at the end of October, as well as Puglia can welcome you with an almost summer sun or with a storm in true autumn mood, of those that leave the sky cloudy for days and the pouring rain falls interrupted.
Bari was really gray for me; upon arrival in the city, to welcome me, there was strong wind, a great storm and a gloomy climate. But, fortunately, the city can offer travelers a series of views, stories and typical dishes that will make you forget the lack of sun and heat .A means to take a short ride, see the most characteristic corners, hear passionate tales and make some tastes is to climb on “BARI CITY TOUR” a characteristic train that leaves from the Port of Bari or from the San Nicola Pier . Just that of the fish market, the blue gozzi and the “Cringhito” temple of street food and Peroni beer.
# OLD BARI
A guide from the Department of Tourism of the Province of Bari has accompanied me to discover the treasures of Bari , the capital of Puglia from the Adriatic Sea and a city famous in the world for the relics of St. Nicholas preserved in the Basilica of the same name; legend has it that this important place of worship was built to conceal the Holy Grail.
The tour starts right from the Basilica dedicated to the Saint to continue in the narrow streets and characteristics of the old city in search of the Cathedral of San Sabino and Castello Svevo, Largo Albicocca and the road where women produce handmade the famous orecchiette. On the outskirts of this alley are the women who prepare the famous orecchiette on the spianatoiarmed only with water, semolina and knives, the houses are leaning against each other and at each corner there are churches, monuments and views to photograph. Here you breathe a steady atmosphere in time, in a place where everyone knows each other and the scents of the kitchens mix with the sea breeze. This is also the place where travelers can also stop to hear the stories of women and try to pack the orecchiette by hand. I assure you that it is really a super local experience that you will like very much.
Afterwards there was a short stop for a free tasting of some of the delicious products of Bari’s gastronomy ; including dried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and a very delicate and intense Apulian wine.
And my tour ended, always on board the train, after a brief stop near the famous Petruzzelli Theater, Piazza Mercantile, at the Column of Justice, a few steps from the port.
# IN THE KITCHEN
At this point I had only to find a place just for lunch and to taste one of the true local specialties; rice potatoes and mussels.
As we all know, variety is one of the most distinctive traits of Apulian cuisine, in which seemingly different ingredients and flavors meet to create dishes with a unique taste. The famous “Tiella Barese”, also known as “rice, potatoes and mussels”, is the clear and tasty proof of this . It is a soup cooked in the oven in which tastes of land and sea meet: the ingredients are superimposed raw in a pan – in the vernacular “Tiella”, precisely – and are cooked with water added later to bake everything for a minimum of 45 minutes. All the inns in the city offer it. I recommend you ask the locals where you eat better and avoid the classic tourist traps in the dock area.