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Bari is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas.
Bari is made up of four different urban sections. To the north, the closely built old town on the peninsula between two modern harbours, with the splendid Basilica of San Nicola (Saint Nicholas), the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035 - 1171) and the Castello Svevo of Frederick II, is now also one of the major nightlife districts. The Murattiano section to the south, the modern heart of the city, is laid out on a rectangular gird-plan with a promenade on the sea, and the major shopping district. The Basilica di San Nicola was founded in 1087 to receive the relics of this saint, which were surreptitiously brought from Myra in Lycia, in Byzantine territory. The saint began his development from Saint Nicolas of Myra into Saint Nicolas of Bari and began to attract pilgrims, whose encouragement and care became central to the economy of Bari. The Norman- Hohenstaufen Castle, widely known as the Castello Svevo, was built by Roger II of Sicily around 1131. Destroyed in 1156, it was rebuilt by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. The castle now serves as a gallery for a variety of temporary exhibitions in the city.
Bari is now mostly a modern industrial city. Nevertheless, some of Italy's most interesting and undiscovered areas. Bari itself is a proud and hard-working port city with strong traditions based on its Saint Nicholas. The Fiera del Levante in Bari is said to be the largest trade fair in the Adriatic and involves exhibitions from many sectors and industries.
Bari is known throughout Italy for its strong, often crude, spoken dialect, particularly in the Old Town, parts of which originated from a pidgin between Italian and Greek fishermen in the past, and which fishermen in Greece can still understand today.
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