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Bari city seal.gif
Comune di Bari
Region Apulia
Mayor Michele Emiliano

 116 km²
 - City (2004)
 - Density


Bari is the second largest continental city of Southern Italy, with a population of 326,201 (2001) along 116 sq. km. It serves as the capital of the Apulia (or Puglia) region, on the Adriatic Sea, and also as the capital of the Province of Bari.

In the 1990s the population in the city saw a consistent decrease, according to the national trend, in favor of the towns in the first metropolitan ring. It was necessary to institute the Metropolitan Area: today the project is underway, with 12 towns who already opted to be in, for a total of around 600,000 inhabitants.

The town consists of three parts: the closely built old town on the peninsula to the north, with the splendid Basilica of San Nicola (Saint Nicholas), the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035 - 1171) and the Swabian castle, is now also one of the major nightlife districts; the Murattiano town to the south (with its stunning promenade on the sea), major shopping district (with the famous Via Sparano and Via Argiro) and heart of the city, which is laid out on a rectangular plan; the more modern chaotic city surrounds this and is the result of rapid development during the '60s and '70s.

The church of San Nicola (Saint Nicholas) was founded in 1087 to receive the relics of this saint, which were brought from Myra in Lycia, and now lie beneath the altar in the crypt. The church is one of the four Palatine churches of Apulia (the others being the cathedrals of Acquaviva and Altamura, and the church of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano.


Ancient Bari

Barium -- the old Latin name for Bari (Greek name was Barion) -- does not seem to have been a place of great importance in early antiquity; only bronze coins struck by it have been found. In Roman times it was the point of junction between the coast road and the Via Traiana; there was also a branch road to Tarentum from Barium. Its harbour, mentioned as early as 181 BC, was probably the principal one of the district in ancient times, as at present, and was the centre of a fishery.

Early Middle Age

Bari's was put on the political map of the region in 852 when it became a center of Saracen power. The first emir of the area was Swadan and in 885 it became the residence of the local Byzantine governor. In 1071 it was captured by Robert Guiscard. In 1095 Peter the Hermit preached the first crusade there. In 1156 it was razed to the ground, and was subsequently destroyed several times.

Late Middle Age

to be written

Modern Age

to be written


Bari is a very homogenous city. However due to legal and illegal migrations, there has been an increasing presence of immigrants chiefly from Albania, who also constitute the nation's largest and fastest growing minority.

  • Italian: 98.1%
  • Albanian: 0.4%
  • Mauritian: 0.3%
  • Greek: 0.2%
  • Chinese: 0.1%

Other tiny groups consist of British, Filipinos, and Ethiopians.

See also

External links

Regional Capitals of Italy
L'Aquila (Abruzzo) · Aosta (Aosta Valley) · Bari(Apulia) · Potenza (Basilicata) · Catanzaro (Calabria) · Naples (Campania) · Bologna (Emilia-Romagna)

Trieste (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) · Rome (Lazio) · Genoa (Liguria) · Milan (Lombardy) · Ancona (Marche) · Campobasso (Molise) · Turin (Piedmont)
Cagliari (Sardinia) · Palermo (Sicily) · Trento (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol) · Florence (Tuscany) · Perugia (Umbria) · Venice (Veneto)

Regions of Italy
AbruzzoAosta ValleyApuliaBasilicataCalabriaCampaniaEmilia-RomagnaFriuli-Venezia GiuliaLazioLiguriaLombardyMarcheMolisePiedmontSardiniaSicilyTrentino-South TyrolTuscanyUmbriaVeneto