It is not always necessary to move elsewhere and move in every direction to travel. You just have to be in constant motion.
With BariCityTours to discover the city
And sometimes just read, dream, remember. Or, maybe, get on board a red train to visit your city, Bari, which you thought you knew very well and which instead surprises you so much: why turn around the ancient hamlet with certified and qualified guides gives you added value and allows you to to look at aspects that alone would not pay attention to.
Like, for example, the dark knives in the middle of every street in Bari Vecchia that stand out on those white at the edges near the houses. Paola Maranzana, a friend and Team Manager at BariCityTours, who accompanies us together with Barbara in the visit of the train and the alleys of the ancient center, explains that the different color of the pavement served the inhabitants to orient themselves: the white ones led to the center, the black led to churches, located at the edge of the city and then outward.
The votive burials that are located somewhere everywhere had the same function and also served to name the streets when the streets of Bari Vecchia still did not have it.
On the cheerful red carriages of the train crossing the seafront of Bari to reach the castle, we exchange with Paola our views on the journey and we agree that traveling is to be oneself, but also let ourselves be carried away by the desire to discover things new. And with the best of her, who was born in Genoa by Greek mother and arrived in Bari for love and stayed there for work after living in Athens and Singapore, could we talk about what it means to travel?
“Travel is a personal challenge, it is enriched and rediscovered. Travel is to open the mind, eyes, and heart “– she says and we get convinced. But traveling is also a dialogue between travelers and locals, such as the one that is instantly established between us and the ladies who prepare the orecchiette near the Arc Vasc (Arco Basso).
But the first person we talked with before we even get on the train waiting for us on the waterfront is Felice Amodio, the patron of BariCityTours, that is, the one who ten years ago had the idea of carrying cruise ships from the port to the center Of Bari on a guided tour to the most beautiful part of the city between the old part and the borgo murattiano.
Now trains running around the streets of the capital of Puglia are two and two are also the starting points of the tour: the harbor and the promenade. We walk from here to Teatro Margherita and the main entrance to the old town, the wide and bright Piazza del Ferrarese with the center of the ruins of a Roman road, the ancient Fish Market, the Sala Murat and the three semicircular apses of the pretty Romanesque church of Vallisa.
The large square communicates on the left with Piazza Mercantile, an ancient business center, with the Palazzo della Dogana, the Renaissance fountain and the Colonna of Justice, also called Column infamous with the stone lion on which the insolvent debtors were exposed naked.
Our stop, after passing Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the real cessure between the medieval and the modern city wanted by Gioacchino Murat at the beginning of the nineteenth century, facing the Teatro Piccinni and the Palace of the Prefecture, is the Castle.
By Norman origin but called Svevo, it was one of Frederick II’s pearls, even though it is often mentioned as the castle of women. In 1465 King Ferrante d’Aragona gave it to the Milanese Maria Sforza to which the use of polenta sliced in hot oil in the streets of Bari Vecchia was found. Then, in 1500, arrived in Bari Isabella d’Aragona with his daughter Bona Sforza, who before becoming a queen of Poland marrying Sigismondo I, transformed the castle into a rich and refined home with her mother.
Got off the train, we are waiting for a tasting of delicious local products from Magicaterra where we are greeted by the kind and smiling Ornella who immediately invites us to a toast with local wine. It’s hard to leave this place full of delicacies and beautiful things, those souvenirs that we think each should take with us, the authentic ones who tell our land.
(to be continued)
BariCityTours – www.baricitytours.it – +39 346 6795797 –firstname.lastname@example.org
Duration 90 minutes c/a; € 10.00 per person including multilingual guided tours and tasting; departing from the Port of Bari or the San Nicola Pier.