After a two year COVID enforced absence, Bari will once again celebrate the Festa di San Nicola this weekend. Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) is the Patron Saint of Bari. The festival celebrates the removal of his relics from Myra in Turkey, to Bari on 9 May 1087 where they are still cared for today in the Basilica di San Nicola.
This year's programme sees the return of traditional religious and civic celebrations over three days of festivities.
The festival is one of Bari’s biggest and most important events. Thousands of visitors and pilgrims from Italy abroad flock to Bari to take part in the celebrations. These are focussed around two main elements. The historical parade and the sea procession. For religious celebrants the release of the holy manna on the 9th May is a key moment.
Saturday 7 May 2022 | Arrival of the Pilgrims
- 18.00 Baia San Giorgio. Procession with the painting of the Saint. Holy Mass presided over by the Rector of the Basilica, Br. Followed by the embarkment of the painting.
- 20.30 Piazza Federico II di Svevia. Historical parade departs.
- 10.30 pm Piazza San Nicola. Historical parade arrives.
Sunday 8 May 2022 | Sea Procession
- 04.30 Opening of the Basilica. Launch of Diane by the FireLight company.
- 05.00-07.30-10.30-12.00-13.00-18.30-20.30 Basilica San Nicola. Holy Masses.
- 06.45 Basilica San Nicola. Procession with the Statue of the Saint.
- 09.45 Sant’Antonio Pier. Fireworks show by the FireLight Company of Valenzano (Bari)
- 10.00 San Nicola pier. Eucharistic celebration presided over by His Excellency Rev. Mons. Giuseppe Satriano, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto, blessing of the Sea and embarkation of the statue of the Saint.
- 12.00 Basilica San Nicola and Molo San Nicola. Supplication to the Madonna of Pompeii
- 16.30 Lungomare Nazario Sauro. Aerial display by the Frecce Tricolori, Italy’s National Aerobatic Team.
- 18.30 San Nicola pier. Eucharistic celebration presided over by Mons. Franco Lanzolla, parish priest of the Bari Cathedral.
- 20.00 San Nicola pier. Disembarkation of the statue of the saint and procession to Piazza del Ferrarese. Lighting of the luminarie displays (traditional Pugliese illuminations).
- 22.00 Sant’Antonio Pier. Fireworks show.
Monday 9 May 2022 | 935th Anniversary of the Translation and the taking of the Manna
- 07.30 and 09.30 Basilica San Nicola. Holy Masses
- 08.00 Sant’Antonio Pier. Launch of Diane.
- 12.00 Piazza del Ferrarese. Holy Mass.
- 18.00 Basilica San Nicola. Solemn Eucharistic Concelebration presided over by His Excellency Rev. Mons. Giuseppe Satriano, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto and Pontifical Delegate for the Basilica. Collection of the Holy Manna
- 22.00 Sant’Antonio Pier. Fireworks show by the FireLight company of Valenzano
More | check out our city guide to Bari.