The Big Trip: Bari

After leaving Venice with the cruise ship, we cruised through the night towards the south at full speed (we could always check the map and local info on the TV in our cabin). By the next day, after we had breakfast, the ship already reached the main port of Bari, where we took a “powerslide” 😛 and docked with the front facing out of the port.

We were unsure if we really needed to book any excursion provided by the cruise while we were in Bari, since we were so close to the city center. We did not know exactly which way it was, but we knew we were close 🙂 . Anyway, we were informed, that there were buses standing in line to take anyone to and back from the city center at any time while we were docked in Bari for the humble amount of €8.50 (payable of course with our magic MSC Card). We decided to hop onto one of these buses and visit the city on our own.
The bus ride itself took about 5-6 minutes and it left us right at the city center. From there we just had to try and figure out where to go. There were some tourist panels with a map, they just forgot the “You are here” sign from it… (well, we were in southern Italy, so that should not have come as a surprise 😛 ). After some careful examination of the streets around us and on the map, we were able to pinpoint our location and find our first destination: Via Venezia, a very nice pathway around the old city center with a picturesque view of the blue sea surrounding Bari. We followed the path for a while and then turned into the narrow, busy Italian streets to check out how the old city looks like.

We basically admired the main cathedral, Basilica di San Nicola which offered us a bonus: a wedding ceremony was taking place just when we visited, so we could also have a look at how things like this are done in Bari 🙂 . After this we took a few wrong turns among the white houses until we managed to find our way out of the maze, just in front of Castello Normanno-Svevo, an imposing Norman castle built in the 12th century and acting as a nice tourist attraction today. We walked around it, took a few photos and decided we should grab something at the local “gelatteria”-s.

We sat down just across the entrance of the castle to a cosy restaurant, where we were served by a kind old man (probably the owner of the family-shop) with some of the most delicious gelato I ate in Italy. It was really refreshing, especially because according to the street thermometers there were around 40 °C in the sun. After cooling down, we slowly strolled back to the bus stop and went back to the ship.

Every evening on the ship, we had a recommended dress-code after 6 PM. It was not mandatory to wear the indicated clothing, but you could take part. This evening, it was “Italian night”, so we had to wear something red, something white and something green. Well, I wore blue 😛 . Anyway, the atmosphere that evening was very… well, Italian 😀 . The evening show at the theater was all about Italian music, everyone was loud and cheerful and dinner was also all about Italian food, plus some special spices added to it:

This night we even checked out the disco (Liquid Disco on deck 16), where the music was again all Italian. After some partying we were ready to retreat to our cabin, because the next day, another destination awaited us…

I have uploaded some photos here.


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