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Finding the relics of St. Nick in Bari

While searching for the best base for travels in Puglia, I came across Bari, a major city bordering the Adriatic Sea with convenient train connections to Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni and Matera in Basilicata. I was pleasantly surprised when I got there to learn that Bari is a destination on its own, with its fortified old town, a Norman castle, a promenade by the sea, a bustling shopping and business district and a variety of restaurants. Bari has also been a pilgrimage destination since the 11th century when the relics of St. Nicholas were brought to Bari from Myra, an ancient Greek town in Lycia (now Antalya Province of Turkey). St. Nick was known for his generosity and gift giving. Sinterklaas or St. Nicholas evolved into Santa Claus. His feast day is celebrated on December 6th. 

Cobble stone passages with religious shrines on every corner greet visitors to the old town.


The narrow alleys of the old historic center are for motorbikes and walking to better appreciate the wrou…

Highlights of Puglia and Basilicata

Basilica di San Nicola Bari was my base of exploration for Puglia and Basilicata. Trains to all the places I wanted to explore departed from Bari several times a day. But Bari has also many attractions including the Basilica of San Nicola from the 12th century and is a place of pilgrimage for the relics of Saint Nicholas.

Ostuni This white washed, hilltop village was a bit of a challenge to photograph in its entirety but many surprises are to be found within its walls, like the door above. Knock, knock.