Bari (anc. Barium), a seaport of Italy, on a small peninsula of the Adriatic, capital of the province of Terra di Bari, 140 m. E. of Naples; pop. in 1872, 50,524. It is surrounded by strong walls and further defended by an old Norman castle nearly a mile in circuit. It has a good harbor, carries on an active trade with Trieste and the Dalmatian coast in corn, oil, wine, etc, and is environed by extensive olive and almond plantations. The priory of San Nicold in Bari is a magnificent old structure in the Lombard style, founded in 1087 for the purpose of receiving the remains of St. Nicholas, which were brought from Myra in Lycia and deposited in a splendid crypt. Roger II. was here crowned king of Sicily; and Bona Sforza, queen of Poland, was buried in a vault of the church in 1557. The cathedral of San Sabino was once a fine Gothic structure, but has been spoiled by modern repairs. In the time of Charlemagne Bari was the principal stronghold of the Saracens on the Adriatic. About 870 it was taken by the emperor Louis II. after a siege of four years.
In the 10th century it was held by the Greek emperors, who made it the seat of the governor of all the Greek possessions in Italy. In the 11th century it was taken by the Normans under Robert Guiscard.