If Lecce is the south’s Florence, Bari is its Bologna, a historic but youthful town with a high percentage of students lending it a cooler and hipper edge. More urban than its neighbours Lecce and Brindisi, with grander boulevards and a more active nightlife, Bari supports a large university, a recently renovated opera house and municipal buildings that sparkle with a hint of northern grandiosity. Some time-poor travellers skip over Bari on their way to Puglia’s big-hitter, Lecce (the towns have a long-standing rivalry, especially over soccer), but Bari doesn’t lack history or culture. The slower-paced old town contains the bones of St Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) in its Basilica di San Nicola, along with a strapping castle and plenty of unfussy trattorias that arguably plug the delicious local nosh – cucina barese – better than anywhere else in Puglia. As the second-largest town in southern Italy, Bari is a busy port with connections to Greece, Albania and Croatia, sports an international airport used by popular budget airlines.
WHAT TO SEE
Fiera del Levante
The movie was shot in the dialect spoken in the town of Bari, Italy. The story is all about some semi-professional drug-dealers in Bari, Southern Italy. However, there is no story to speak of, but it doesn't really matter because it's all in the characters: their words, their gestures and their faces. For everyone familiar with standard Italian the very strong Bari accent ("Barese") proves very hard to understand and even most Italians will need subtitles. This is therefore one of those wonderful low-budget Italian art movies - true jewels of pictographic and linguistic milieu studies - that will appeal especially to persons that have some personal acquaintance with the place and the people living there.