Piazza del Ferrarese: between history and current events, discovering the treasures of Bari
Piazza del Ferrarese is the ideal place to start a journey to discover Bari: overlooking the historic Lungomare Imperatore Augusto, it is now the preferred entrance to the picturesque old town.
The square is delimited on the right by the building of the former fish market, built in 1840, and by the access ramp to Via Venezia that gradually ascends towards the Fortino di Sant'Antonio Abate, the highest point of the old town. On the left is the current Sala Murat, a former food warehouse and now one of the city's most popular cultural venues, dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of contemporary arts. On the same side, the apses of the Chiesa Vallisa are visible. Built in the 11th century and now deconsecrated, the church has been transformed into a multifunctional centre for the promotion of culture and art. In the background of the square, with its sundial, stands Palazzo Starita, built in the 18th century on the remains of an ancient Arsenal.
The square, which was renovated several years ago, retains part of the oldest paving in the central area: in the exposed excavation, you can see the furrows left by the carts that entered the city.
In May, the square becomes the place where the patron saint, San Nicola, is remembered. Indeed, it is a tradition that an altar is set up in Piazza del Ferrarese where the effigy of the saint remains on display. From the pier of Sant'Antonio, fireworks are set off that illuminate the sea in front of them with their picturesque colours. And it is from the sea, on board a boat, that the statue of the saint slowly makes its way towards Piazza del Ferrarese.
Piazza del Ferrarese is a place rich in history, culture, traditions and meeting places. Over time, it has become a regular stop for those visiting the city: a natural meeting point for young people, families and tourists who want to breathe in the air of Bari, the sea and the scents of local agricultural and culinary excellence.
Between bars, restaurants and a lot of chatter between friends, there is also the Mercato di Campagna Amica, which in this very square hosts the local farm businesses with their products. In this, the city's "good living room", visitors can buy and taste what the region has to offer, directly from the producers, at the right price and according to seasonality: cold meats, cheeses, extra-virgin olive oil, freshly picked fruit and vegetables, preserves, pasta and flours, sweets, fruit jams, wine and much more. But, especially in fine weather, the market also becomes a meeting place, raising awareness of healthy lifestyles and balanced diets, and themed festivals that highlight and publicise seasonal produce.
Food and wine are real drivers of tourism throughout Apulia, which enjoys unique scenic beauty, places rich in history and culture, but also ancient traditions that bring true delicacies from the field to the table. The farmhouses of Campagna Amica are the ideal place to enjoy a well-rounded food and wine experience that allows you to get to know the places where the products are grown, the processing techniques and also the recipes recounted and explained directly by the farmer cooks. It will provide a great opportunity to learn how to make bread, focaccia, and fresh pasta such as orecchiette, and to learn the secrets of typical recipes and the right pairings of oil and wine with the various courses. And for those who want to get straight down to business, there will be no shortage of table settings and a good selection of local specialities.