This private Bari shore trip provides are walking tour of Bari's old town before visiting the mysterious Castel del Monte which was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
After meeting your licensed guide you drive to the old town of Bari where you enjoy a walking tour. The port city of Bari was founded during the Bronze Age on a small promontory, which today, is the old town of Bari. Here you will find narrow alleys and breathtaking views of the sea. Bari grew and increased its economic importance after the Roman conquest and construction of the Via Appia road.
Bari experienced a happy and rich period when ruled by the Normans. On May 9, 1087 the body of St. Nicholas was brought to Bari making it one of the three main places of Christianity during the time. The Norman Castle which is the largest building in the region is here. The castle was changed throughout history so you may recognize medieval and Renaissance additions.
The Cathedral was built between the 12th and 13th centuries on what remained of a previous Byzantine cathedral. It is one of the largest Romanesque buildings in the Apulia region. The Cathedral is named for San Savino who is buried in the cathedral's crypt which is supported by 28 columns with Byzantine and Romanesque capitals. Beneath here the relics of St. Nicholas are housed.
Next you travel to the Castel del Monte which was built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II around the year 1240. Sitting on a hill at an elevation of about 1,600 feet, you will enjoy beautiful views of the countryside and the sea from here.
There are many legends and myths about the castle. Some believe it was a defensive fortification but if that was the case, then why is there neither a moat nor a drawbridge. Others think it was a hunting lodge, but then why are there no horse stables. Maybe it was a prison or used as a place for refuge during the plague. These ideas may not be answered in your visit but you will enjoy the interesting castle which is an octagonal prism with an octagonal bastion at each corner. Each of the 8 walls has 8 rooms and the center is an eight-sided courtyard. The outer walls are each 75 feet high and the bastions about 80 feet high. In 1996, the Castel del Monte was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and today it is shown on the reverse side of the Italian issued one cent Euro coin. After visiting the castle you return to the pier in Bari.
Mobility: NO wheelchairs
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