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Bari is the bustling sun baked capital of Puglia, an intoxicating and colourful city with a trendy port, large opera house and a university. Bari oozes with charm and appeal, from its narrow streets with faded white buildings boasting wrought-iron balconies and shuttered windows, to its old town – a maze of alleyways and beautiful churches. There's something for everyone in Bari, from large groups to romantic couples, where days are spent lounging in your Bari villa with a private pool or on the many beaches, and evenings spent dining in the yacht-packed San Nicola marina.

Things to do in Bari

When staying in one of our Bari villas, the question isn’t ‘what is there to do?’, but ‘what isn’t there to do?’ Staying in one of our villas with a private pool has its serious perks, being close to a thriving city with fantastic shops, restaurants and bars, but also museums and plenty of historical sites. The old town is a must-see, the most picturesque part of the city, hiding the Basilica di San Nicola (housing the bones of St Nicholas) and 13th-century Norman-Swabian Castle. Nearby, there’s the Pane e Pomodoro beach, a sandy cove with bobbing fishing boats, where you can dine on their catch in a waterside restaurant.

Top dishes to try include orecchiette con le cime di rapa (handmade orecchiette pasta with turnip tops) and tiella barese (rice baked with potatoes and clams). Explore on foot or hire a car to go further afield, and kids will love a trip to the fascinating Il Parco dei Dinosauri dinosaur park and the spectacular Grotte di Castellana caves – all within reach from your Bari villas.

Come to Bari for grand boulevards lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and for a great nightlife scene. From your villa in Bari you'll be close to all the action, to have Puglia's most cosmopolitan city on your doorstep but also a host of gorgeous nearby beaches and fantastic attractions like a dinosaur park and waterpark.

Boats moored, Bari, Puglia
Diners in outdoor cafe, overlooking the Bari coast

History and Culture in Bari

Founded by the Illyrians, controlled by the Greeks and then overtaken by the Romans, Bari has had a rich and diverse history, and as a result there are numerous historical sites you can visit from your Bari villa. Head into the old town to see the grand Basilica San Nicola and the crumbling Grotte di Castellana cathedral, or journey outside the city to see the famous Castel del Monte, a unique octagonal 13th-century citadel and castle. Bari is also near the well-preserved ruins of the ancient Roman city of Gnatia (now called Egnazia), which is also an interesting museum and makes for a great day trip on your Italian villa holiday.

Family holidays in Bari

There are plenty of fantastic family-friendly activities to enjoy on your Bari villa holiday, from relaxing at home in your private pool or heading to the beach, to visiting the nearby Jurassic Park-style dinosaur park and exploring the local area. Kids will love the Il Parco dei Dinosauri dinosaur park, just a short drive from your Bari villa holiday, which takes you on a journey back in time with interactive life-sized dinosaurs and fossils. Alternatively, there’s the nearby Acquapark Bari, a fun-filled water park with a large pool, heaps of colourful slides, a baby pool and pizzeria. For a more relaxing day out on your family villa holiday, there’s the famous Polignano a Mare beach – surrounded by cliffs and popular with families.

Man with umbrella, overlooking Bari coast
Boat excursions from Bari

Adventurous activities in Bari

In search of a serious adrenaline rush? Then head to Polignano a Mare Beach to join the locals who love diving from its steep cliffs into the deep blue water below. Alternatively, embark on a tour of the spectacular 90-million-year-old caves of Grotte di Castellana – 60 metres underground and a world of spiky stalactites and stalagmites. From your villa in Bari it’s also possible to rent a quad bike or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for an epic adventure across 60 kilometres of rugged Pugliese landscape and terrain. Quad biking and ATV tours are available from Alberobello – an hour’s drive from Bari but well worth the journey for an epic day out.

Romance in Bari

Guests staying in one of our couple’s villas in Bari will not be short on romantic things to do in the city, from sunbathing on its soft stretches of sand to dining in the twinkling and romantic harbour area. Pack up the car and go on a beach tour of the Bari area and coastline, beach-hopping between the likes of romantic cliff-fringed Lama Monachile, Cala Paura with its soft white pebbles and the wild and sandy Lido Cala Cerasa, sandwiched between caves and grottos. For a date night on your romantic villa holiday, head to the seafront for fine seafood restaurants or the old town for charming Italian eateries. One of the most romantic things to do in Bari is charter a catamaran or sailing boat for a sunset cruise of the bay, the perfect way to celebrate an anniversary or special date. 

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Having worked within the villa industry collectively for over 50 years, there isn’t a Mediterranean holiday location we haven’t visited. From couples retreats to large, family properties - our carefully curated collections offer something for everyone. Villa holidays are our passion - let us help you find your perfect destination.

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