If you wander around the southern Italian city of Bari, you will most likely notice intimate, cobblestoned lanes, cafe-choked piazzas, and one of Italy’s best opera houses. Somewhere between it all, is the Basilica di San Nicola, and the actual tomb containing St. Nick’s bones. Built in 1087, the castle-esqe basilica was created specifically to shelter his stolen remains from Myra, what is now Turkey.
Didn’t know the jolly ol’ fat man was Turkish? The Times also describes a life-sized statue of St. Nicholas outside the church that may change your perception of him a little more. “It depicts a tall, dark man with faraway eyes and an elegant, serious demeanor. It’s St Nicholas — but he doesn’t look like any Santa Claus I’ve ever seen.”
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