Via Lombardi, 13 – Bari (ITALY)
In the heart of the city of Bari, from 1956 the Palace Hotel is the landmark of hospitality in Bari.
Its location in the heart of the city, few steps from the historic centre and the railway station, makes it the ideal destination.
Visit the city centre
Bari’s historic centre is a city within a city, a maze of narrow alleys, courtyards, historical palaces, and bars. It houses approximately 30 churches and many wonderful buildings, such as the Basilica of San Nicola, the Romanesque Basilica of San Gregorio, the Cathedral of San Sabino, and the Castello Normanno-Svevo (Norman-Swabian Castle) built by Frederick II. Bari Vecchia (Old Bari) is the ancient heart of the city.
Visitors are accompanied by the aroma of clean laundry and freshly baked focaccia and by the sight of fresh pasta drying in doorways, as they walk from Arco Basso to the area around Piazza Ferrarese, Piazza San Pietro, and the Monastery of Santa Scolastica. Other must-sees include Piazza Mercantile, the Colonna Infame, and the Library of Santa Teresa dei Maschi.
Norman Swabian Castle
Bari’s iconic fortress, the Norman Swabian Castle now serves as the headquarters of Puglia’s Directorate for Cultural and Landscape Heritage.
Positioned by the city’s main entrance, a few steps away from the Cathedral, the Castle today welcomes visitors before they head into the narrow alleyways of the historic centre.
The Castle was originally built by the Normans in the 12th century but was later destroyed in 1156. Frederick II rebuilt it between 1233 and 1240, transforming it into one of the region’s most interesting fortresses, mainly thanks to its strategic position. A fascinating example of medieval construction, it also retains elements that were added in successive extensions.
Basilica of San Nicola
In the heart of Bari’s historic centre, the Basilica of San Nicola is the focal point of the Cittadella nicolaiana and a destination for pilgrims from all over the world, and especially from Eastern Europe.
Considered a prototype of Puglia’s Romanesque architecture, the Cathedral was founded in the 11th century. It has been remodelled several times over the centuries, but retains a simple exterior, with two slender towers reaching up to the sky.
A staircase leads down to the crypt where you’ll find the tomb of San Nicola (Saint Nicholas), and the entrance to a Russian Orthodox Chapel. Don’t miss the Cattedra di Elia (Elias’ Cathedra, or bishop’s throne), the medieval capitals, the ciborium, the silver altar and the golden inlays from the 17th century.
Over the years, the never-ending flow of pilgrims has increased the Basilica’s treasure. Precious votive offerings are kept in the Museum of San Nicola, along with parchments, epigraphs and finely decorated manuscripts.
The most prestigious cultural building in Bari and Puglia, the Teatro Petruzzelli is Italy’s fourth biggest theatre and the largest private theatre in Europe.
Placed on Corso Cavour, in the heart of the city, it’s not far from the Palazzo dell’Acquedotto Pugliese (Apulian Aqueduct). Inaugurated in 1903, it was destroyed by an arson attack in 1991 and reconstructed in 2009, acquiring again its former splendour.
The building’s Umbertino style, a typical Italian style of the late 19th century, fits harmoniously with the rest of the Murat district, the newer part of town. The Fondazione Lirico Sinfonica Petruzzelli oversees the rich artistic program of the theatre, which can seat up to 1,500 spectators.
Cathedral of St. Sabinus
A few steps from the castle, right at the entrance to Bari’s old town, the metropolitan cathedral of St. Sabinus is an historical episcopal see whose firm and harmonious lines reflect the architecture of the nearby Basilica of St. Nicholas. Built in the 13th century, it represents an extraordinary example of Apulian Romanesque architecture, in whose basement are kept precious archaeological finds, such as the ruins of a civic building of Roman age, a three-nave early christian basilica and a small Byzantine church.
When you step inside, your gaze roams over the three solemn naves, divided by 16 columns that support arches and fake matronea. In the 17th-century crypt you can see amazing marbles that enhance the icon of the Madonna Odegitria, which reached the port following a violent storm, as well as the relics of St. Sabinus on the main altar. The tour continues in the adjacent palace of the Curia housing the Diocesan Museum replete with precious finds and artworks.