Piazza del Ferrarese
Named for a merchant from the city of Ferrara who once lived on the square, Piazza del Ferrarese is the heart of the historic center’s waterfront, located just opposite the old port and overlooking the Augusto Imperatore promenade. Recent urban renewal projects have not only brought new life to this charming square, but also uncovered a stretch of the ancient Roman Via Appia, today marking its center. A highlight of walking, bike, and rickshaw tours of Bari Vecchia, Piazza del Ferrarese is the gateway to Bari’s old town and one of the most lively areas of the city by day and night. Take in the square along with other top attractions like the Basilica di San Nicola, the Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo), and the Cathedral of St. Sabino by joining a sightseeing tour, or combine a stroll through the piazza with a sampling of Bari’s famous traditional cuisine with a street-food tour. Bari Vecchia is also generally included in full-day tours of Puglia, together with the town of Alberobello, Castel del Monte, and the Sassi di Matera in the bordering region of Basilicata.
Things to know before you go
- The square is pedestrian only, so a welcome respite from Bari’s heavy traffic.
- Tours of Bari Vecchia include significant time outdoors, so wear a hat and sunscreen.
- With its flat, paved expanse and ramps to Via Venezia and the seafront promenade, Piazza del Ferrarese is completely accessible to wheelchair users.
- Choose from one of the many cafés and restaurants in the square for a snack or meal.
How to get there
Piazza del Ferrarese is located directly opposite the waterfront in the heart of Bari’s historic center (Bari Vecchia), an easy walk from the train station and from other important sights and attractions.
When to get there
Southern Italian cities can get uncomfortably hot at midday in summer, so visit the square in the evening to relax in the cooler temperatures and dine alfresco. There are often concerts and street performers in the piazza on summer evenings.
Landmarks Lining Piazza del Ferrarese
Piazza del Ferrarese is home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks, including the 19th-century former fish market, the Sala Murat (once a market and today an exhibition space for contemporary art), and the apse of the Chiesa della Vallisa. The far end of the square, the 18th-century Palazzo Starita was built on the ruins of a former arsenal.
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