The city of Bari in Puglia has three distinct parts: the old city, the XIX century area and the modern zone. The old city grew up on a small peninsular stretching out into the Adriatic Sea. This was chosen by prehistoric populations whose remains have been unearthed in the area of Santa Scolastica and near Piazza S. Pietro.
The old city is one of the most confusing places in southern Italy. The narrow streets and passages weaving trough courtyards and arches were originally designed to protect inhabitants from the wind and throw invaders in a state of confusion. Be aware of this because even with the best map you are going to get lost.
The Basilica of St. Nicola is considered one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture. Its façade is made of white limestone blocks set off by two bell-towers. The interior contains some unique examples of medieval architecture, including the splendid tabernacle of 1150, and the bishop’s throne known as the Cattedra di Elia.
The Normanno-Svevo Castle was built by Frederick II over Normans foundations. Its structure follows a trapezoidal plan with four corner towers constructed by the Duchesses Isabella of Aragon and Bona Sforza.
The castle houses a museum containing plaster casts of the finest pieces of
Roman sculpture of the region.
The Pinacoteca Provinciale, located in the Palazzo della Provincia, contains artefacts from the XII to XIX century including paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese.