We made the excellent decision to stay in the small town of Bitetto, about 10 miles west of Bari. The B&B is located about 8-10 minutes from a rail station with frequent trains to both Bari (one euro) and Taranto (6.4 euros-1 hour and ten minutes). Train travelers can connect at either Modugno or Grumo Appula for another rail line that runs to the fascinating cave-town of Modena.
Miss Almerinda is a friendly host who works hard to make sure that her guests have a clean comfortable room located next door (or down the hall) from a very modern bathroom. The B&B is located on one of the dozens of narrow pedestrian-only streets that form a delightfully confusing network in the town's historical center.. Although Miss Almerinda speaks no English (and I speak less Italian), language was not a barrier.
Bitetto is an authentic, tourist-free town that has a good selection of restaurants and enough stores and shops to provide some entertainment as well as necessities.
Overall, this was a much more pleasant (and more affordable) option than busy Bari,