Myself and my two children hope to visit Bari this april or may. We have a very tight budget, and dollar to euro exchange is difficult. My daughter who will be 14 would like to make some contacts with an Italian her age in Bari.
I just want to go because this is the land of my grandfather and I want to know it, and spend two weeks living the life I might have if my grandparents hadn't immigrated.
Any ideas about accomodations or making contact? We'd even be willing to host an exchange. Do such things exist?
I think hosting an exchange is by far the best way indeed; YFU (youth for understanding) used to be big in these things, consult their website.
One piece of information that may be relevant for you, is that southern Italy, especially the Bari region, is quite poor. This means that, unless you speak a fair bit of italian, you should exercise some caution in establishing friendly contact with the local people, or at least maybe not take their friendliness at face value. They might in the end be more interested in your money than in your friendship. This is NOT to frighten you, far from it, but be prudent, and best establish some initial contacts beforehand. Once you've found an entry, you'll probably find that the Italians are extremely warm and hospitable people. I'm sure you will enjoy your stay, regards,
Bari is a cool city to visit, and the area surrounding Bari is quite interesting, you will see lots of old architecture and settlements from ancient peoples that have continously invaded this region from the east. be careful driving around Bari, stay clear of the area (San Paolo) just west of the airport. Otherwise it's pretty safe, adn their ice-cream and panzerotti are to die for. Have fun!!