Today I left Rome and made my way southeast to Bari, Italy.  I decided to fly, because I found a cheap flight and it doesn’t seem to be very easy to get from one coast of Italy, through the mountains, to the other coast via train.  I’m glad I did fly, because you know . . . sometimes after three days of a super tiny bathroom, the spaciousness of the exit row seat just gives you the happy feels.

So, here I am in Bari, and I’m not really impressed. I am pleased with my hotel (and the wi-fi is SO much better than at my Rome hotel), but that’s really as good as it gets here. Walking around has been incredibly disappointing. Things are not very nice. Ugly, dirty, and rundown are the words that come to mind. There are loads of copy shops but no easy access to the sea. There are lots of cafes (that just serve pastries) but very few actual restaurants (other than not-so-good looking fast food).

This leads me to wonder what it is that makes us like or dislike a place. I seem to have a like/dislike-at-first-sight response to places. I can’t quite get my head around WHY I have absolutely no use for Bari, much like I had no use for Palermo when I visited last year – but, feel the warm fuzzies when in Rome or Barcelona. In Bari, there is something intangible that just leaves me feeling underwhelmed (and glad that I’m moving on quickly). It’s surprising because someone actually recommended Bari to me.

I did get to see one nice church and the Castello di Bari (which still came in second to the fast wi-fi). It’s okay, though. Everything can’t be a winner. At least it’s just a couple of days.