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Bari is a charming city in southern Italy

May 17, 2011 - 2:27am
Bari
There are thousands of beautiful destinations across the world to consider for your next vacation, and those who are still trying to narrow down the list of potential locations may want to consider a cruise to Italy. The Mediterranean city is a gorgeous place along the country's southeastern coast, perfect for a holiday spent sight-seeing or relaxing on the beach.

Bari is home to numerous historical attractions, many of which are impressively designed places of worship. The Basilica of Saint Nicholas, for example, is an 11th century structure with two tall towers that frame its facade. The Bari Cathedral was built in the same century and features stunning Byzantine-style architecture.

The Swabian Castle, also known as the Norman-Hohenstaufen Castle, is another interesting sight. The 12th century building, which was constructed by Roger II of Sicily, stands prominently among clear blue skies and vibrant green palm trees. These days, the venue is used as a hall for temporary exhibitions held in Bari.

A major cultural hot spot is the Petruzzelli Theatre, which is one of the largest opera houses in the country behind Milan's La Scala and Naples' San Carlo Theatre. Although it was destroyed in a fire back in 1991, it was restored two years ago and is now open for business once again. Tourists can catch an opera or ballet performance at this venue during their stay.

Those who are interested in checking out the local arts scene may want to visit Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari, which is one of the most esteemed museums in the region of Puglia for its extensive collection of paintings. Built in the late 1920s, travelers can come to this institution to see a number of important works of contemporary art, as well as pieces that date back to the 15th century.

Travelers with an appreciation for the way some Italian cities have kept their old-fashioned ways should head to Barivecchia, located north of the more modern neighborhood of Murat. The streets and passageways are charming and small, leading to the main squares of Piazza Mercantile and Piazza Ferrarese.

Tourists who want to spend a day absorbing the sun's rays can head to Pane e Pomodoro Beach, which is the main stretch of sand located a convenient distance from the city. Other beaches to check out include Trani, Monopoli Ovest, Barletta Sud and Bisceglie.