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Bari is a large port city on the Adriatic coast. It is the capital of the region of Puglia and is well placed for exploring this attractive part of Italy. The old town, or ‘vecchia Bari’, is on a headland reaching into the Adriatic sea that has been built on for millennia. The highlights of the old town can be visited on foot. Bari’s most famous church is the 11th-century Romanesque Basilica di San Nicola; dedicated to St Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus. The church was specially built to house his remains, which still lie in the crypt. Other highlights include the cathedral of San Sabino and the Castello Svevo (Swabian castle). The ‘new’ town offers wide 19th-century streets while at ‘porto vecchio’, the old port, you can see fishermen landing in small wooden boats with their catch.

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