The cities


Bari is a city in Italy with 320,000 inhabitants, capital of the Puglia Region and of the Metropolitan City that shares its name. It is the ninth city in Italy population wise and the third in Southern Italy, following Naples and Palermo. Its metropolitan area is the sixth largest in Italy with almost 1.3 million inhabitants.
The city is also famous for hosting the relics of St. Nicholas in its Basilica, a major site for Orthodox Christian pilgrimage in the West. This has also made Bari a centre of ecumenical exchange between the Orthodox and Catholic faiths.
Bari boasts a storied commercial and entrepreneurial tradition and has always been crucial link regarding trade and political-cultural relations with the Middle East.  Since 1930, the city’s Fiera del Levante has been one of the oldest and most important trade fairs in Italy.
The metropolitan area is home to three universities, one Mediterranean agronomic institute, eleven research centres as well as ten industrial districts which make up the second largest industrial zone on the Adriatic coast. Multinational corporations, both Italian and foreign, are housed here in Bari.  Also present are a multitude of small and medium-sized businesses specialising in diverse sectors such as the automotive industry, mechatronics, chemistry, agriculture, communications technology, construction, energy production and publishing. 
The city airport is a major Italian and European hub, while the Port of Bari is the first passenger port on the Adriatic. Recognised by Lonely Planet in 2019 as one of the top five tourist destinations in Europe, today Bari is the second most visited city in Puglia.


The city of Hamm was founded in 1226 and is thus almost 800 years old. Today Hamm is a major city with over 180,000 inhabitants and an important transport hub on the edge of the Ruhrgebiet region. Hamm’s modern history has been shaped very much by the coal-mining industry. The supra-regional structural change in the course of the Germany-wide stop of hard coal mining affected the city particularly strongly. 
Since the end of coal mining, Hamm has been making efforts to find a citizen-friendly re-use for the former colliery sites. In 1984, for example, Hamm hosted the first state garden show in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Maximilian Park, built on the site of the former Maximilian Colliery, is still one of the largest leisure and recreational facilities in the city and the region. Hamm’s landmark is also located in this park: the world’s largest glass elephant. But the other colliery sites have also been and are gradually being redeveloped: into parks, new residential quarters, and places where innovations can develop. It is important to the city planners that all districts are well connected with each other through open parks and intelligent infrastructure
Hamm is also a university location and, with its excellent rail and motorway connections, offers ideal conditions for industry, commerce, and international trade fairs. But Hamm is also a cultural centre: in addition to the large Gustav Lübcke Museum in the city centre, new cultural centres are being created in the form of the Radbod Cultural District and the Heinrich Robert Creative District on former colliery sites. Hamm is also the site of the Sri Kamadchi Ampal Temple, the largest Hindu temple in continental Europe.