Bari, city host of the Ministerial Meeting on Finance (May 11-13, 2017)

Bari is the capital city of the region of Apulia in the south-east of Italy which, due to its favourable geographical position, represents a strategic crossroads within the Mediterranean basin. Over the years, the city has built links and fostered new forms of collaboration, participation and co-operation with the neighbouring Mediterranean and Balkan countries, as well as in many countries further afield.

The Metropolitan City of Bari is one of 14 metropolitan cities, formally set-up by the Italian government in 2014, which brings together 41 surrounding municipalities, facing on to the Adriatic coast in the northeast, bordering the neighbouring region of Basilicata to the west, the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani in the north and the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto in the south.

Recognized as the most dynamic city in the region, Bari has always stood out for its vibrant enterprising economy and international reach. Over the course of time, these qualities have led to positive economic results as well as sustained development in exports and international partnerships, even in the recent times of international economic crisis.

Bari, like the rest of Apulia, is also becoming one of the most sought-after destinations for Italian and foreign tourists alike, thanks to its many historical and cultural attractions, and to the presence of an excellent transport network: Bari’s international airport connect the city and indeed the region to major cities throughout Italy and Europe; the road and railway systems span the length and breadth of the region; the city’s seaport which has become an important destination for Mediterranean cruise lines, provides international maritime links to the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, and is well equipped to deal with both passenger and goods traffic; an extensive network of tourist ports provides docking facilities for those wishing to visit the area by sea.

Bari is the city of St. Nicholas and the Middle Ages, renowned for its wonderfully impressive Basilica, the Cattedrale di San Sabino, endowed with a magical rose window, as well as for its the several churches, courtyards, secret gardens, archways, and historical buildings of the old city, not to mention the Castello Normanno-Svevo, both solid and beautiful. It is also a city of merchants and constructors, always ready to design new districts, to embark upon new ventures, to vigorously face the economic crisis by flooding new markets with their own products and services; a city furnished with financial services, fashionable boutiques, innovative restaurants, display windows always lit, and the perpendicular streets of the centre, founded by Gioacchino Murat some two centuries ago.

Bari is not only a city of international connections, thanks to its efficient international airport as well as a commercial port with a notable movement of shipping containers, it is also able to attract both students from outside the region - thanks to its two large universities as well as health and social services - and foreign investments, with an industrial area where multinationals can constantly innovate. However, Bari do not forget to cultivate beauty in its wonderful theatres, graced by the famous Teatro Petruzzelli, stage of great exhibitions, as well as Teatro Margherita, currently under renovation, which will soon become a brand new centre of the arts.