To talk about Bari is to talk of two cities, from two different worlds: one is modern, active, bustling with economic activities, the new city; one is ancient, stirring, full of voices and humanity, the old city. Two different worlds, in a city among the most lively and populated in Southern Italy.
Marking the border between Bari's two souls is the wide and luminous Corso Vittorio Emanuele. On one side the modern city, with the chequered streets and the buildings that have been built throughout its prodigious urban expansion, on the other the labyrinth of alleys of the old city, jealous keeper of noble monuments. The most important of these, the undisputed symbol of Bari, is the Basilica di San Nicola, one of the most beautiful examples of Romanic-Apulian architecture. Its construction, which started in 1087 to preserve San Nicola's bones, served as a model for many other Romanic churches of the Land of Bari, among which the one in Trani.
The sea-side promenade shows the impressive bulk of the Castello Svevo, started by Frederick II and in the 16th century the opulent court of Isabel of Aragon, and the Molo di S. Nicola where every year, on the morning of the 8th of May, the ceremony to board the statue of the Holy performer of miracles takes place, to receive the homage of believers and pilgrims. Here is also the traditional "'nderre a la lanze" cove, a popular place for sea food tasting.
Bari is also a dynamic city, rich with commercial exchanges, a bridge towards the East. This is also demonstrated by the Fiera del Levante, a true institution of the city, if you consider that it was founded in 1929. In its exhibition spaces every year various trade fairs are held, with a special attention reserved to the Mediterranean, within which Bari has always been in the middle.
Where as Bari is a modern city, its province retains landscapes of untouched beauty, still in a timeless present and rich with history. The countryside is scattered with farms, country residences which, because of their once defensive requirements, often remind us of real castles. In the villages you can see the 'trulli', traditional farmer's houses with a conical shaped rooftop. Although the most famous ones are those in Alberobello, declared World Heritage by Unesco, you can find them also in Castellana Grotte, Conversano, Gioia del Colle, Locorotondo, Noci, Putignano.
The Fiera del Levante offers throughout the year many trade fairs to visit. To find out the dates of the main events, see their website http://www.fieradellevante.it.