Why choose Bari?

Bari is a city of over 320,000 inhabitants, the capital of the Puglia Region and the Metropolitan City of the same name. It is the ninth Italian city by population, and the third in the South after Naples and Palermo. Its metropolitan area is the sixth largest in Italy with over 1.3 million inhabitants. The city of Bari stretches along the Adriatic coast for over 40 km with the longest waterfront in Italy. Including the metropolitan waterfront, the coastline is 80 km long with urban beaches, coasts and bathing establishments.

Its airport is one of the main Italian and European hubs and the port is the most important passenger port on the Adriatic Sea. The city of Bari is the seat of the secretariat of the pan-European corridor. Bari has a long mercantile and entrepreneurial tradition and has always been a hub in trade trade hub and of importance in political-cultural relations with the Middle East.

Bari is among the top 5 destinations in Europe according to Lonely Planet and is the second destination in Puglia for the number of arrivals and tourists. Bari is also known for being the city where the relics of San Nicola rest. This feature has made Bari, with its Basilica, one of the best known centres of the Orthodox Church in the West and also an important interconfessional hub between the Orthodox and Catholic religions.

Within the metropolitan area of Bari there are 3 universities, the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, 11 national research centres, 1 Academy of Fine Arts, 1 Music Conservatory, 10 production districts and the second largest industrial area of the Adriatic.

Bari is active in international and cross-border cooperation between cities, in particular in EU investment programs such as URBACT, Interreg Greece-Italy, Adrion, Med, See and Horizon. In recent years the city has hosted a number of prestigious international events including the Mediterranean Games, the Bilateral Italy – Russia Summit, the National Assembly of the ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities), the G7 Finance Meeting and the ecumenical prayer meeting promoted by Pope Francis for peace in the Middle East.

Its strategic location, funding opportunities from the European Union and high quality of life are just some of the incentives to invest in Bari.

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkans, Bari is well connected thanks to its international airport, among the best in the country for its technological development, as well as the harbour, railway connections and excellent roads.

Bari has a thriving business ecosystem and the potential to become a driver for innovation and technological development in the region.

Businesses, research groups, organisations, foundations and universities work together towards the same goal: developing the area internationally and becoming a training force for the rest of the nation.

A structured system of incentives and funding help attract investments and aid the expansion of the productive regional system.

The human capital in the area and the generational will to drive Bari and Puglia towards the future is astonishing. Investing in Bari means believing in the dreams and hopes of the people who make the city the brilliant reality it is today.


  • To be a territory that values quality of life and beauty in all its forms, thus creating competitive and localisation advantages
  • To promote a model of participatory and federated development in an innovative and ‘smart’ way


  • A European-level smart city specialising in ICT, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility
  • A center of excellence in agri-food, mechatronics and pharmaceutical chemistry, highly attractive for productive investments
  • A tourist Center of national importance, which enhances the landscape, the local characteristics and the visibility of the Apulia brand

Distinctive characteristics

Digital supply chain:

  • Bari was the first city in the south of Italy to take action on smart city issues and to equip itself with a network of charging infrastructures for electric vehicles
  • 60% of the companies in the Apulian IT District are based in the area
  • Bari boasts the presence of a multimedia supply chain and the headquarters of the Apulia Film Commission
  • It is the seat of one of the three Italian polytechnic universities and the only one in Southern Italy (with around 11 thousand students)

The main IT companies with offices and productive hubs in the Bari metropolitan area are

Almaviva, ATOS, Auriga, Burda forward, Deloitte, Exprivia, Engineering, EY digital, Fastweb, Fincons, IBM, Links, Lutech, Nexi digital, NTTdata,  TIM.


  • Bari is the 4th biggest area in Italy for pharmaceutical exports.
  • It hosts the headquarters of important multinationals, for example Merck Serono, with local SMEs and research centres.

Mechanics and mechatronics:

  • Bari hosts over 3,400 companies specialised in mechanics, which makes up more than 40% of all companies in the Apulian mechanical production district. In total they employ 49,000 highly specialised workers and had an export value of € 2.3 billion in 2013.


  • There were 4.800 active companies operating in the Apulian textile-clothing-footwear industry in 2022.
  • This includes 625 textile industries, 2,750 companies operating in clothing production, and another 525 in the manufacturing of footwear and leather goods

Agri-food chain:

  • Bari accounts for 25% of the Apulian oil production (the 1st region in Italy for oil production with one third of the national product) and much of the production of pasta, the dairy supply chain and Apulian cattle and pig breeding
  • Exports of agri-food products from Bari are equal to 20% of the total exports of the metropolitan area
  • There are numerous centers of excellence, for example the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, the Institute of Food Production Sciences (ISPA) of the CNR, the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Bari and various others


  • In 2021, 1.327.000 tourists chose Puglia as their destination (+ 44.4% compared to the same period of 2020). Of these, arrivals from abroad were 178.000 (+ 81.6%), and national arrivals were 1.146. 000 (+ 39.4%);

The city boasts a 4,000-year history marked by various dominations -Byzantine, Saracen, Norman, Swabian, Angevin, Aragonese- which, over the centuries, have contributed to Bari’s significant cultural heritage, both architectural and archaeological, and its intangible culture.

Among the main architectural landmarks are the great Basilica of San Nicola, the Cathedral of San Sabino, the three main theatres of the city (the Piccinni Theatre, the Margherita Theatre and the Petruzzelli Theatre), the tower of Sant’Antonio and the Norman Castle, Svevo-Angioino, an imposing fortress that stands on the edge of the old city towards the sea.

The old city was built on a peninsula between the old port and the new port. Full of traditions and culture, it is dotted with alleys, noble palaces and over twenty medieval churches. It houses the headquarters of the Archaeological Superintendence, the Museum of San Nicola, the Civic Museum, and the Diocesan Museum, all of which preserve and protect the layered traces of the city’s past.

In Bari there are also many examples of architectural traces of the 19th and 20th century tradition inspired by the liberty and rationalist periods.

Every year the city of Bari organises traditional celebrations in honour of St. Nicholas, on the 6th December and the 9th May. These involve tens of thousands of worshippers and thousands of Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims who come to Bari on those days from all over the world.

The city of Bari is home to many functional and valuable cultural centres, across different areas of the city, all well connected to the city center and catering to the varying needs of the public.

There are a number of theatres in the city, with the main ones being the recently renovated Piccinni Theatre, the oldest in the city, the Petruzzelli Theatre with its 1300 seats which houses the opera and ballet, and the Kursaal Santa Lucia Theatre which reopened in 2020 and will become the House of Music of the city.

The city’s museums include the emerging ‘Hub of Contemporary Arts’ which is located between the premises of the Margherita Theatre -an extraordinary theatre overlooking the sea, the former Fish Market and the Murat Hall. Others are the Archaeological Museum of Santa Scolastica which preserves archaeological finds from Prehistory to the Middle Ages, the Provincial Art Gallery which exhibits paintings and ceramics from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age, the Civic Museum which contains evidence on the evolution of the political, economic, commercial and social structure of the city in different historical periods and the Nicolaiano Museum which collects the most valuable pieces relating to the secular history of the Basilica of San Nicola.

Bari manages to reconcile a competitive cost of living and a high standard of quality of life.

Surveys carried out with those who have moved to Bari for work for at least 5 years show that:

  • Bari is one of the few cities in the South that offers job opportunities in a fairly concrete and continuous way
  • Bari enjoys a vibrant night life scene mainly based in the Old Town and Umbertino areas, four public theatres and a plethora of cultural initiatives all year long.
  • Bari stretches along a coastline of 40 km (the longest in Italy), part of a metropolitan waterfront of about 80 km with urban beaches and prestigious seaside resorts. Its waterfront is a favoured venue for joggers of all ages, and several water sports can be practised, from sailing to paddle boarding. The Centro Universitario Sportivo (CUS) is also located on the waterfront, which is the largest Italian university sports centre and is accessible to non-students. As in any true Italian city, there are two football stadiums, one of them hosting the Bari A.S. football team which plays in the Italian second division.
  • For those who love good food, Bari is the place to be. It’s full of places to eat both regional and international cuisine, with locations that span from low cost trattorias to fine dining restaurants, and if you get advice from locals you will not be disappointed.


An in-depth study on the cost of living can be done through numbeo.com which reports these values:

Summary of cost of living in Bari, Italy:

  • A family of four’s estimated monthly costs are 2,524.34€ without rent (using our estimator).
  • A single person’s estimated monthly costs are 712.23€ without rent.
  • Bari is 20.05% less expensive than Milan (without rent, see our cost of living index).
  • Rent in Bari is, on average, 43.47% lower than in Milan.

Bari ‘Karol Wojtyla’ airport has a flow of 5 million passengers a year (57% national and 43% international). It is 15 km from the city and is directly connected to the center by rail. According to Altroconsumo, it is considered one of the best airports in the world for services, accessibility and international mobility (38th out of 178). It has direct connections with the main Italian cities and European capitals, including Moscow, Tel Aviv, Kutaisi.

1.7 million passengers per year use the Port of Bari, between cruises and connections with the Balkan peninsula and the Middle East. In the last 3 years the port has handled over 16.7 million tons of goods. The city of Bari is connected on an urban, provincial, regional and state level by an articulated network of roads, highways and motorways.

38,000 passengers a day and 14 million a year use Bari’s Central Railway Station. The city is served by high-speed trains for Naples and Rome, long-distance trains for the main Italian cities, and regional and inter-regional trains.

Bari and the metropolitan Area -Innovative projects

The metropolitan area of Bari is implementing a strategic plan (2020-2025) which includes over 1.2 billion in investment in infrastructure and services to increase its competitiveness, attractiveness and quality of life for its citizens.

Within this strategic framework, Bari and the Metropolitan City of Bari have launched important innovative projects which the city is pursuing in strong symbiosis with the university and research and business systems. The Metropolitan area is thriving in terms of innovation, has a good endowment of human capital and is well connected to the European continent, Eastern Europe and the Adriatic-Mediterranean area.

Among the projects taking place in Bari, we highlight:

  1. Partnership with Open Fiber for digital infrastructures for the smart city.
    The city of Bari is among the 5 cities in Italy testing the 5G mobile network technology implemented by the ‘5G Action Plan’ of the European Commission in partnership with Huawei, Fastweb and TIM, to test innovative services in the health sector, industry 4.0, tourism, automotive

    culture and public safety. Thanks to this project, Bari guarantees a 5G connectivity network, the fifth generation of technologies for mobile telecommunication, capable of ensuring a significant enhancement of industrial performance, but above all an enabling factor for the experimentation of a series of services capable of revolutionising the life of citizens, consumers and businesses, and shaping the paradigm of connected society and digital life.

  2. Porta Futuro 2
    Porta Futuro 2 is a space dedicated to business incubation and provides business incentive tools for start-ups. It is part of the broader project for the construction of a metropolitan work hub that will enhance the functions already performed by Porta Futuro Bari. Portafuturo Bari is a job center within the Municipality of Bari and is today a centre of excellence in Southern Italy for active employment policies. The Invest In Bari-One Stop Shop Project will be activated in the Porta Futuro 2 premises in the center of Bari from July 2022. This is a service dedicated to attracting investments and supporting new investors to facilitate the processes of setting up new businesses and the growth of existing companies.
  3. House of technologies project
    The aim of the project is to create an innovation hub in the metropolitan city of Bari that can experiment with new technologies and operational protocols with particular focus on the theme of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving through the use of enabling technologies and AI, new generation IoT and drones.The city of Bari is a candidate to become a national and international reference centre on these issues by offering its own territory for experimentation in the field with the use of new generation drones and vehicles in urban areas. This is a real living lab, an absolute novelty on the international scene, which will allow the Italian research system to gain knowledge on these issues, increase the ability of public research bodies and companies to produce innovation, explore new businesses and create new entrepreneurship as well as to attract investments in the Bari area and improve the competitive positioning of the local and national economy.

The house of technologies will extend over three poles:

  1. The first pole at the former Manifattura Tabacchi, a place dedicated to research and the business system (CNR headquarters, Porta Futuro, business incubation) where the Municipal Administration (AC) has decided to locate the main headquarters of the house of emerging technologies, create the innovation atelier, a place to exhibit any prototypes and innovations produced and activate the contamination lab in synergy with the “Porta Futuro 2” project and Invest In Bari One Stop Shop, which the AC itself started to encourage the creation and incubation of innovative businesses.
  2. The second pole is in the Industrial Development Area, where a business incubator and research laboratories will be located. This is a place chosen to strengthen the collaboration between companies and research institutions for the success of the project.
  3. The third pole at the Fiera del Levante, located in the center of the San Cataldo district, the area which has been chosen by the AC, in agreement with the other partners, for field trials (Living Lab).


Last update

16 January 2023, 16:50