There’s no better way to start our trip to Bari than at sunset on the Pane e Pomodoro Beach. The way the sun goes down here bathes even the end of the most gleaming summer day in a soft light. The red of the evening sky creeps up from the sea and spreads itself out among the streets and squares of perhaps Apulia’s liveliest city.
And yes – you heard it right – Bari’s most famous beach is really called “Pane e Pomodoro” – Bread and Tomatoes. It’s quite easy to get there. Whether on foot, as a jogging route, or by bicycle: from Bari’s old town, you only have to head up the beach promenade towards Corso Trieste, and you can already stretch out your beach towel.
This is the ideal place for a bit of stretching at sundown. And this is a pleasure you can enjoy almost the whole year round, as summers here are wonderfully long. From Bari city centre, it’s around twenty minutes on foot, and from Pane e Pomodoro you can walk on further to Torre a Mare.
I can’t have enough of the view at this part of the walk: the sandy beaches transform slowly into fascinating cliff formations, and a sea of colours and unique landscapes accompanies you as you progress. And once you’ve come this far, you must visit the Parco di Punta Perotti park.
A real blot on the landscape – a huge and unfinished building – stood ten years ago where the park has now been created. After long-winded disputes across the whole of Italy, the building was finally demolished in 2006, and the city regained access to a large green area.
The park invites you to come and relax and pass the time away thanks to its sports areas, sun sails and very comfortable park benches. I jog with my music and headphones through the park, and it’s particularly the park benches and colourful activity around them that catches my attention.
The natives of Bari are fond of transforming their environment – especially pavements – into additional living rooms. Stools and tables are also often brought outside, and the whole day is spent in the open air. Conversations are always lively and passionate.
I run past people, but then slow down and immediately feel part of the community. Children, young people, adults and the older generation – everyone sits together. This is the magic of the South.