Eating and Drinking in Bari, Italy

I had the chance to tick off every item from my personal list of things to eat and drink while in Bari.

Panzerotti are a popular street food, and the light filling of some tomato/light cream mix surprised me. What looks like a calzone is actually a deep-fried turnover.

Panzerotti

Passing through the market area on any day was a colorful feast for the eyes.

artichokes

I also got to try the region’s famous Arancini (stuffed rice balls, coated with bread crumbs, and then deep fried).

arancini

This drink, Negroni, was a recommendation by a contributing editor of The New York Times. Negroni is a concoction of Gin, Vermouth, and Campari. We had it with our lunch, and afterwards I felt as if the sun shone a bit brighter. 🙂

Bari, we had mostly blue skies and sunshine in late November.

Our rickshaw tour guide had recommended this Espressino freddo, which is a combination of espresso, cocoa powder, and milk. This was very nice.

Espressino freddo

Last, but not least, I tried the famous Focaccia Barese, which is like a slice of pizza, but without any cheese. This is a great snack!

Focaccia

Rickshaw Tour in Bari, Italy

On our second day, we got to see more of the city by taking a rickshaw tour. Some of the sights, we had stumbled onto ourselves while walking around, but having a local rickshaw rider explain the significance of each sight, and also share some interesting tidbits, made the tour much more memorable.

We stopped to see the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, Bari Cathedral, the outside of the Swabian Castle, etc.

Basilica of Saint Nicolas

Another interesting point, high-lighted by Teresa, our rickshaw rider, were the black tiles (among the regular light tiles) around the old town. These are actually markers, meant for the pilgrims, and they connect all the holy places around town. This is to make sure that souls do not get lost. You will always find your way to another church, basilica, etc. There are 28 churches in Bari.

Then there is the Pillar of Shame, and Teresa demonstrated how a thief would be tied to the pillar. For three days, he had to sit there without food or water, and being near the market, he got rotten tomatoes thrown at him too.

San Nicola/Saint Nicolas is everywhere. The city is permeated by his presence, ranging from today’s pilgrims to kitsch replica in souvenir shops.

President Putin presented the city of Bari with this San Nicola sculpture in 2003.

The old town of Bari is the most charming place. Be warned though, it is a complete labyrinth.

Old Town of Bari

This is a typical Old Town alley. There is laundry to dry, homemade Oriecchette for sale, a scooter parked for a short stop, and people’s conversations are definitely not private.

We used this Velo Service Bike Rental and Tours website for our booking:

http://www.veloservice.org/en/home-3/

Local Specialty in Bari, Apulia – Orecchiette

I had read about this type of pasta in an article in the New York Times, so it was on my list of foods to try. Orecchiette means little ears. They are made from semolina and water, that’s all. Semolina gives this pasta a different texture, which also helps absorb the sauce much better. This is a very tasty dish.

Orecchiette

As the weather was so pleasant for late November, women would sit outside to make Orecchiette. This was one of the first things I saw on my first morning there.

Making Orecchiette

While getting a closer look at her work, I also discovered a new pasta making gadget – the dust pan.

Making Orecchiette outside in Bari, Italy

Orecchiette need two hours to dry in this special drying table.

It seemed as if every home was engaged in Orecchiette making. Orecchiette come in different sizes, colors, small and large bags, etc.

Homemade Orecchiette

I was tempted to buy a bag to take back to Germany. Years of traveling have taught me otherwise though. It does not taste the same at home. Or you put it in the cupboard with the other items. Believe me, when I tell you I’ve just located the olives I had bought in Thessaloniki last November.

Bari, Italy in Late November

Every year late November, my travel companion and I go away for a few days. Over the years, we have been to Mallorca, Malta, Tallinn/Estonia, and Thessaloniki/Macedonia. This year, it took us to Bari in Apulia, a region at the heel of Italy’s boot.

We got very lucky with the weather – sunshine, blue skies and an average temp of 20°C for three days.

My first view from the balcony of my B&B in the old town of Bari.

Old town of Bari

The houses in the old town are quite narrow and usually have three floors with a rooftop terrace. As one of the locals explained to us, the bottom serves as the kitchen and the place to eat. The upstairs is for sleeping and bathrooms. These houses have no living rooms, as we know it. The ‘living’ is done mostly outside. You are only inside to eat, sleep, and shower. Not to live there.

We passed many of these homes with their front door open. I often saw a grandmother sitting there, the TV was on, people kept going in and out.

This was my room at the B&B ‘Bella Bari’. As each floor only had one room, I basically had the whole (small) floor to myself. It made for a fairly spacious bedroom and bathroom.

This was the view from our rooftop terrace. Initially, we had plans of sitting up there every night with some wine. But when you get lost walking around the old town, walk all day, we had no more energy left to climb to the top terrace (terraces on the 4th and 5th floor). This photo was taken shortly after we had arrived.

View over Bari Old Town

This square separates the Old Town from the new town.

Square between Old Town and new town Bari

The lights installed around the Old Town emit a special warmth and glow. The wine helps too, but the camera doesn’t lie (as my husband likes to remind me 🙂 )

Our first day there was well spent. We got lost a few times, walked and laughed a lot, and managed to stop here and there for some refreshments. When going to Bari Old Town, wear good and sturdy shoes.

Did I mention Primitivo is an excellent wine..?

Lufthansa Possibly on Strike November 2019

If you are affected by the possible Lufthansa strike on 7 and 8 November 2019, or any future strikes, please refer to this website with your booking code.

https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/flight-information

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