Bari, Italy: Only A Boat Away from Croatia

Holly and I took the ferry from Dubrovnik to Bari, which is kind of incredible to think about – we took a ferry between two countries! Bari is on the east coast of Italy and is in the heart of Puglia, which is a region I think people will be hearing more and more about!

The ferry was perhaps one big screw-up on my part – when I’d read about it, it was an overnight ferry. So I’d not planned a second night of accommodations for Holly and myself in Dubrovnik, thinking we’d get a cabin and sleep on the ferry. Except, of course, the day we took it (the ONE day a week), it was an afternoon ferry. Whoop! So we ended up not getting a full day in Bari, and then also needing to have an extra night Dubrovnik. Note to self: Read schedules just a bit closer!

It was funny for me – planning for me and another person, and another person who had a schedule and somewhere to be! I’ve gotten so used to it not mattering when or where I am in this trip, that adhering to a schedule was new (and don’t worry… things to come: I also messed up a bit in Naples thinking Holly left a day earlier than she did!! Whoops!) All’s well that ends well, right? It was nice to have the ferry during the day, though – I enjoyed watching the water go by!

But luckily for me, Holly’s a relaxed friend to travel with, and we figured it out. And then in typical style, the ferry left two hours late! But it was a really pretty ride across the Adriatic, and a fun way to get from one country to another. The seas were relatively calm, and the ferry boat had a lot of different places to see outside or sit inside, so it was nice!

We docked in Bari, and I think I went through the briefest immigration process I’ve been through. I don’t think the officer even checked to make sure it was my passport before stamping it! It made me laugh.

We got an AirBnB in Bari that was a “typical accommodation in Bari” and it was crazy! It was this stone flat that felt a bit like a cave. It was clearly over a hundred years old (so definitely no AC! Eek!), and it was tiny! But it was really cool and in the heart of the Old Town of Bari. The owner’s son, who took us to the flat, also recommended a restaurant. We had them essentially “surprise us” with what we ordered and they brought an array of tapas that included two types of homemade cheese. It was SO good. And then there were potato dishes and so many other things, it was so good. Except for the dish that involved squid. I don’t think Holly or I had more than a “polite bite” of that one. We ended the dinner with what became our Italy tradition – ending with shots of limoncello. Yum!

Then next morning, we went around the Bari old town (and had our first real Italian gelato!), and saw the old convent and churches. The old town there is such a maze! It was so cool to see it and see the old architecture, and a really fun day to tour around.

We caught the afternoon train to Naples – that was its own adventure. Taking a train across the whole boot of Italy was really fun to see the landscape change. The first hour or so we went along the coast, which was gorgeous, and then we went right through the heart of the country. There we could see rolling hills and vineyards, with old churches and old castles everywhere. I love train rides as activities in themselves – in Europe, the trains are so smooth and so fast that it’s fun to see the countryside!

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