We arrived in Bari after an overnight ferry from Igounamitsa. As usual, I got seasick but this time wasn't too bad compared to the last time by 'supercat'. After going through immigration, we took a taxi to find a hotel. This was probably a bad idea as he drove us on the scenic route before deciding to turn around and drop us at a B&B which ended up being only 4 minutes walk from the harbor. Anyway, the B&B was very reasonable and cute, the owner was a young woman who couldn't speak English but it worked out somehow with lots of smiles and gestures. We got a good deal for a one night stay. Her husband took us to the cafe near their house for breakfast. The standard of Italian or western breakfast is very much different compared to Vietnam. We had a simple breakfast of coffee/ juice, croissont and sugary donut but it was very nice. I've never been a big fan of espresso coffee but I decided that in italy I was going to try it. In Bari, I had my first but it was by no means my last!
Bari is a reasonably sized city with a gorgeous old quarter which we discovered and got lost in the whole time we were there. We had arrived on a lazy Sunday morning, so there wasn't much going on except for a terrible trashy market selling crap from China. I suggested that we try some pizza even though it was only 10am. But we were in Italy. We had to eat something Italian to start. In the afternoon, we walked around the central square near the old fish market where people were hanging out to listen to some local bands singing. Amongst the cafes and restaurants,there are also several old beautiful churches. We tried some local fried polenta with salt on the edge of the square and sat down listen to the music. Sitting there for half an hour of so, watching the passing parade was really fun. Later at the old pizza shop, we ordered a volcano pizza, a seafood pizza and a margarita pizza and some beers. Again, it was very nice having pizza in Italy. They weren't the greatest but we were sure there would be more to come.
The hotel owner offered to take us to the train station which was so nice of him. We were taking the morning train to Salerno, gateway to the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. Salerno is a medium city with a spectacular old town and cobblestone boulevards, which we walked along on our first evening. It was lined with many beautiful clothes shops, restaurants and ice-cream shops. The mint chocolate and Baci ice-cream proved to be our favourites that night.
To be continued..