Located on the Adriatic Sea, the ancient Italian capital of Bari has often been neglected by visitors, but this atmospheric and architecturally adorned city is a little gem that embraces a rich cosmopolitan past. Many civilisations have left their mark and many cultures are still represented, from Byzantine and Arabic to Gothic and Greek.
Separating the town is a wide boulevard, home to the Piccinni Theatre and the renowned red-brick government palace. To the north, pastel houses litter the labyrinth of lanes, arched alleyways and ancient churches that make up the old town. From here explore the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the 12th century Cathedral of San Sabino and the Swabian castle of Castello Svevo.
To the south, in the new town of Murattiano, you'll find a stunning promenade by the sea as well as the major shopping districts of Via Sparano and Via Argiro. Just outside of Bari is the mysterious octagonal Castel del Monte built in 1240, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.