A Guide to Castello Svevo, Bari

The city of Bari is located in the region of Apulia, Italy. Bari is an exciting and bustling port town along the Adriatic coast. Although it is a transport and travel city thanks to the port and the number of ferries which arrive and depart there each day, Bari is also an incredible historical destination.

Ancient churches, medieval monasteries and impressive architecture of all varieties can be found in the historical city centre as well as the surrounding area. There can be no doubt that one of the most popular attractions in all of Bari is the Castello Svevo.

Castello Svevo, Bari, Italy
A view of Castello Svevo, near Bari Italy by Enza

The castle is located in the centre of town and provides breathtaking views of the whole city as well as the coastline. If you are planning a trip to southern Italy, be sure to visit the incredible Castello Svevo.

Use this guide for visitor’s information, nearby attractions, history of the castle and accommodation options.

Castello Svevo, Bari, Apulia, Italy
Castello Svevo, Bari, Apulia by Carlomorino

History of Castello Svevo

The castle was built by the Norman King Roger II in 1132. The castle only remained in its original condition for twenty years until it was destroyed in the middle of the twelfth century by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

Over the centuries it was rebuilt and possessed by varying Italian families as well as a Polish Queen until it was finally returned to the King of Naples and was used as an army fortress and prison.

Today it is a public site owned by the Italian government and is used primarily as a historical site and a tourism destination.

Castle walls of Castello Svevo, Bari, Apulia, Italy
Castle walls of Castello Svevo, Bari, Apulia by Jerzy Kociatkiewicz

Visiting the Castle

Castello Svevo is a must see destination in Bari. With a location close to the city harbour, it is popular with visitors who want to spend the day touring the castle as well as those travellers departing on a ferry with just a few hours to spare.

Castello Svevo is unfurnished on the interior, which lends a unique atmosphere and means that guests can actually tour the building alone without supervision.

This is certainly a rarity and a unique experience when visiting European castles. At the entrance is a viewing room with a short video in English that explains more about the history of the castle and past inhabitants. Entrance admission to the castle is a mere two Euros per person, excellent value!

A closer view of Castello Svevo, Bari, Italy
A closer view of Castello Svevo, Bari by Luigi Scorcia

Popular Nearby Attractions

While in Bari there are plenty of other exciting attractions you may want to explore. In the ancient city centre, known as Bari Vecchia, there are countless medieval buildings and some truly unique architecture.

Be sure to walk through yourself and take in places like the impressive Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Palazzo del Catapano and the Monastery of Saint Scolastica.

Basilica di San Nicola, Barivecchia, Apulia, Italy
Basilica di San Nicola, Barivecchia, Apulia by Emanuele

If you have a chance to explore the neighbouring towns of Bari, both Matera and Trani are great options. In Matera visitors will find incredible rock settlements that are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Matera Cathedral, panoramic view with the Sassi, Basilicata, Italy
Matera Cathedral, panoramic view with the Sassi, Basilicata by Ggia

In Trani, the major attraction is La Cattedrale, a Romanesque cathedral with spectacular artwork.

Facade of the cathedral in Trani, Apulia, Italy
Facade of the cathedral in Trani, Apulia by Adbar

Accommodation Options in Bari

While visiting the city of Bari and the Castello Svevo, visitors will have no shortage of accommodation options. There are three budget hostels where guests can stay for around twenty Euros per night as well as some slightly more expensive budget hotels, inns and local guesthouses.

If you are looking for a more luxurious option, consider renting Italian villas in and around Bari.

Streets of Bari, Apulia, Italy
Streets of Bari, Apulia by CucombreLibre

There are several villas for rent that can be ideal for romantic couples enjoying a secluded getaway, groups of friends travelling together or even entire families who want to find accommodation where they can reside together.

You will find a range of sizes and prices to fit into any budget. You can check for the villas e.g. here: http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/Italy/r39.htm

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