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Bari (pop. 326,000 approx.) is the administrative capital city of the Province of Bari and the Puglia (Apulia) region. One of the features which characterises Bari is the contrast between the old city and the modern city, especially from an architectural and urban development point of view.
"Old Bari" is located on the headland between the old and the new port, the city's layout is typically medieval with its narrow, cramped streets. The entire history of Bari is comprised in this part of the city, from its origins as the chief city and port for the "Peucezi" population, then a Roman city. During the XI and the XII century Bari became a foremost Byzantine and Norman capital city with one of the most important boarding ports for the departure of the Crusaders.
Today, Bari's city centre is nested between the ports of the new city (founded by Gioacchino Murat in 1813) and the old city (the so-called "Old Bari"), bordered to the east by the walls which separate it from the seafront, typical of medieval town planning.
The Archaeological Museum is situated in the "New City" as is the province's Art Gallery located on the Navarro Mauro seafront.
Not very distant from the seafront is the famous Petruzzelli theatre, built between 1898 and 1903, which was unfortunately damaged by arson in 1991 and which is currently undergoing full refurbishment.
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