Monday, September 23, 2013

Bari: A Beautiful Medieval Port City

We arrive in Bari after a long train ride from Nice.   It’s after the usual check in time and we message the guesthouse to say we will be arriving late.  The owner texts back in Italian to say he will pick us up at the train station.  We finally figure out where to meet him after getting a fellow passenger to translate the message!

We are glad to find our transport waiting for us.  He drives us to the old city, which is beautifully lit at night.  He opens the door to an amazingly large bedroom with a living room and mezzanine.  There are enough beds in here for a family of 8 and I can’t believe this is all just for us.  He ushers us in and opens the fridge to reveal he has stocked it with fruit and water.  This is a lovely welcome. 

Later we learn we are the first people to find his B&B through the website.  He is keen to impress us so we will give him an excellent recommendation.  A positive recommendation on a website is ultimately what will drive your business in today’s world.  We are tired and it’s past 10pm but Steve suggests we go for a walk to explore the old town.  The entire town is lit and the warm glow of the streetlights creates a beautiful look.  We know it will be different in the morning.  For a European town this is still early but the place is deserted.  We finally find a few cafes that are open and grab a few slices of pizza. 

We wake up late.  We are quite tired after the long train ride getting here the previous day.  Our ferry does not leave till 8 pm so we leave our bags with the proprietor and explore the town.   The town not only looks different in the morning it is full of people.  Probably people just like us – killing time till the evening when they will catch a ferry to Igoumenitsa or Dubrovnik.  It’s a beautiful old city to explore and we enjoy wandering the streets, taking a look inside the cathedrals and people watching in the square.

Bari is an important city in Southern Italy because of the port.  Most of the people walking around would probably never have found their way to this city if not for the fact they are here to catch a ferry.  I find out an interesting fact about Bari.   It was mentioned in the film the Bridges of Madison County because Francesca (Meryll Streep) tells Robert (Clint Eastwood) that she came from this place called Bari, a town that no one has heard of.  He then tells her he has actually been there and that he got off the train because it looked pretty!  Pretty it is but having been there I’m not sure you could have said that from the train station! 

We have a relaxing day and pick up our bags later that afternoon.  We are in for another surprise when we are given the use of a room till it’s actually time to leave.  We could not have had a nicer experience here…

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