Bari was originally a Bronze Age settlement, built on the peninsula where today the Old Town is situated. It is a maze of narrow streets with terraces and balconies above, from where people can gaze out at the sea. Having been conquered by the Romans, the town lived through a period of wealth and splendor until the arrival of the Byzantines, Longobards and Saracens, who fought at length for control of the city. Later, the advent of the Normans brought another period of prosperity, thanks in part to the much venerated Saint Nicola, whose saintly mortal remains had been brought to the town. In 1813, the King of Naples, Gioacchino Murat, ordered the construction of a new town beyond the medieval city walls, to the south west of the Ofanto river and along the coast of the Adriatic sea. It is the old town that still harbours the real spirit of Bari, which can be captured by following itineraries that visit the cathedral, the amazing Basilica of San Nicola, the Castello Normanno-Svevo, and the “Sedile dei Nobili” square, where the ancient stocks and pillory for mediaeval criminals and offenders still stand. Next stop, the lovely beaches “Torre Quetta” and “Pane e pomodoro” and the picturesque old port.