The Province of Bari is a province of Apuglia. Facing north on the Adriatic Sea, bordering:
• to the west with the Province of Foggia,
• south with the Basilicata (Provinces of Potenza and Matera) and the Province of Taranto,
• to the east with the Province of Brindisi.
The province has 48 municipalities, 1,559,662 inhabitants (38.8% of the population Puglia) and covers 5,139 square km (26.5% of Apulia).
It crossed from the A14.
A part of its territory will soon be officially decumulated to join the new Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, already officially established following a parliamentary process approved in 2004. The new province should become operational in 2008, during the first elections to the council.
In the Province of B.A.T. 7 join common today included in the Province of Bari:
• Andria, Barletta, Bisceglie, Canosa di Puglia, Minervino Murge, Spinazzola, Trani.
St. Nicholas' city, the regional headquarters, extends half way into the Puglia Adriatic Coast, on the edge of the fertile land of Bari. An ancient Roman site, it was always an important trading town; first the Normans and then the Swabians developed the city, with buildings such as the cathedral. Spanish rule signalled a period of decadence which ended with the arrival of the Bourbons from Naples with whom Bari had a profitable relationship.
The city consists of an old town center, medieval in appearance, situated on the peninsula between the small bays of the old and the new port, and the new town. The old town with its typical narrow winding streets, and the new part which has grown up all around this ancient nucleus since 1813. Here wide and often very long boulevards cross each other at right angles. The old town has all the mediaeval monuments of any importance, like the Swabian castle and the many churches including the Cathedral and the Basilica di San Nicola, which is a place of annual pilgrimage for many people from every part of Italy and from all over the world. The Cathedral of San Sabino was originally built in Byzantine style in 1062, and then rebuilt in Romanesque form in 1170 after the destruction it had undergone at the hands of William the Evil, in 1156.
The Norman-Swabian Castle was begun by Roger II; subsequently it was destroyed at least twice by the people of Bari themselves, who would not tolerate the Norman tyranny. Roger
rebuilt it in 1139, and Frederick II rebuilt it almost completely between 1233 and 1240, the Norman structure having been virtually destroyed. Charles of Anjou made some changes in it 1277.
The attractions of Bari are constantly being increased by a large number of annual events which cover many different fields - commercial, with the "Fiera del Levante", an international exhibition in September, and with special displays for Sport, Marble-work and Fashion held at other times of the year; artistic and musical events, and of course sea-bathing at the very modern beaches and camp-sites along the shore of the sea-side suburbs
of Santo Spirito, Palese, San Giorgio and Torre a Mare.
The origins of the city of Bari go back to very ancient times, testimony is the prehistoric village unearthed by prof. Michele Gervasio, in 1913. This village situated in Saint Peter's Square, (near the port) covers about 300 square meters and goes back to the Bronze Age, or about 4000 years ago, as has been deducted from human remains and animals and tools found.
In the third century B.C. the city was already a thriving and active port Peucèzia, the territory that occupied the central part of Apulia. After long resisted the invasion of Greeks, Bari was conquered by the Romans and had the status of "Municipium" Then it became an important commercial centre, primacy always maintained that, even in hard periods in its history, as when the Roman Empire fell, was involved in the struggles between the Byzantines and the Lombards. In 1840 the city of Bari fell under the dominion of the Saracens, and in 1870, when it was regained by the Byzantines. At that time became the largest political, military and commercial of the Italian of the East and home of "Catapano" (greek captain), which ruled all territories of Byzantium in the West.
Around the 1000 the city suffered tremendous assaults by pirates Saracens. The most serious of these, in 1002, lasted a long siege, which the city was saved by the Venetian fleet, led by Doge Orseolo II. The Byzantine domination ended in 1071, when the Norman Robert Guiscard conquered the city. Under the domination Norman port of Bari assurse a great reputation as one of the main ports of embarkation for the Crusades. Indeed, in 1096, after the preaching of Peter the Hermit, warriors from all over Europe flowed into Bari to visit the first Crusade. The domain Norman, initially characterized by a degree of calm, ended in 1156, when William I, known as Malo, assault the city and burned to the ground saving only the Basilica of San Nicola.
The Swabians rebuilt Bari and the same city spent a most splendid period under Frederick II of Swabia. The enlightened ruler gave new impetus to industrial and port activities, restored the castle and his court prosper in arts and culture.
Over the centuries XIII and XIV with Angioni, the situation changed again. The town was hard-launch from taxes imposed by Charles I of Naples and its successors, occupied only fight. Bari decayed to the point that in the fifteenth century was subject to the domain of feudal principles of Taranto and then dukes of Milan, the Sforza.
The sixteenth century with Isabella of Aragon, who had come to Bari in 1501, was characterized by a period of great prosperity. For Isabella succeeded by his daughter Bona, who remained widow of Sigismund I, King of Poland, moved to Bari where reigned with such wisdom that at the moment of her death took the Bari people decided honour her burying in San Nicola, was the 1557.
Those dark centuries of domination were the first Spanish and then Bourbon that followed the queen of Aragon, not just for the city of Bari but for the entire peninsula.
The history of the city continius in 1813, when a decree of Giocchino Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law and King of the Two Sicilies, work started on the construction of new city whose development occurred in several occasions starting with a core of roads straight and parallel to reach the city which today you can visit.
Returning to the ancient times, the land of Bari and of the whole Puglia is very important to remember another sensational discovery, as regards archaeology, that of Altamura, where in 1993 was found the skeleton of the homo erectus altamurensis to witness the presence of villages in our region since the times further away.
Bari, the second metropolis of southern Italian, was born as a major agricultural center, especially industrial and commercial, with active port and important node for trade within the Near East. Its origin is closely linked to maritime activities in the Middle Ages by spaces immediately overlooking the coast, created a district ordered by a precisely connotation checkerboard, both seem to be born on a grid Roman then readjusted by the Byzantines.
The old town is home to numerous testimonies of civilizations that alternated driving historical Bari: Romans made a very thriving port, able to accommodate dozens of ships carrying wine and wheat from the countryside in large quantities, the Byzantine consecrated the role commercial Bari until the arrival of the Normans, which transformed Bari also from the point of view architectural building churches, portals and palaces. It was precisely in this period rose major monuments such as St. Nicholas and the Cathedral.
Under the Swabian (Federico II) was restored the castle, which was then in the sixteenth century strengthened and embellished to make it home to the duchesses Isabella of Aragon and Bona Sforza. The castle, a strong and mighty mole grandiose, consists of two distinct parts: the castle itself, also known as keeper, of Byzantine origin Norman and transformed by Frederick II in 1233-1240 to plant with two trapezoidal towers of the four original; bulwarks and a slope angular towers with a spear on the moat, added in the '500 on three sides to the ground. The side overlooking the sea preserves the original portal and beautiful mullioned windows of the building of the ‘200. The kingdom of Joachim Murat in 1813 marks beginning of the modern building, built in accordance with a precise plan regular chessboard, score straight streets, where are the Archaeological Museum and the Provincial Art Gallery.
The two main churches, the Cathedral, built in the first half of the eleventh century and rebuilt in the last decades of the century XII following the destruction of the city by William the Malo in 1156, and the Church of St. Nicholas, together at Castello Svevo Norman the most important buildings of Puglia. Very fascinating is the story of St. Nicholas, the city's basilica, built between 1087 and 1197 to protect the body of the saint, that 62 sailors had stolen from Mira, Licia, in 1087, should be considered a prototype of Romanesque churches - Puglia. The majestic facade and simple, flanked by two bell towers deck handed, tripartite by pilasters, open at the top by mullioned windows and down by three portals, of which the meridian, a canopy on columns, is richly carved, which makes the basilica of San Nicola the temple where the Christian citizenship Bari are more linked.
Il Castello Svevo. The Castle Svevo
The Castle Svevo Bari was built on the ancient Roman foundations and the massive construction Norman, by Frederick II. With it completed the plan imperial to glass the coast of towers defence from Termoli in Barletta, Bari, Otranto and Brindisi constituted a real "Vallo Adriatic," the place to defend the territory.
The castle is surrounded by a large moat, which suggests precisely the function of defensive construction. Its characterized by a large entrance and vestibule, with courtyards and the staircase and throughout dominate the high towers. The upper floors, lit by windows, there is a museum with fragments of frescoes of the fifteenth century and remains of a probable depiction in stone of the same Frederick II.
The manor was used by the Bourbons as prison from 1832 until a few decades ago, because the trade unionist Giuseppe Di Vittorio, was imprisoned here. Currently it is used for exhibitions and conferences and has regained some vitality.
Even today in the Castle is kept a plaque to witness the visit of St. Francis of Assisi.
The kitchen Bari, still retains the old flavors of the ancient folk traditions. Indeed, basically base on the local products of land and sea. In the picture next to it, you can see how massaie the ancient village, preparing orecchiette Bari hand and stretch to dry, as it did in the past. In this column we reported some recipes typical of our land, written in dialect Bari, with its translation.