During Fascism in 1926 the airport was officially opened to commerce. B. became the capital of its province (2 Jan 1927), the war memorial was built (1931) as well as the National Monument to the Italian Sailor and the Naval College (1937). King Vittorio Emanuele III and the head of government Pietro Badoglio lived here from 10th September until 4th February 1944 and B. was the capital of Italy for all this period.
During the II World War B. suffered great damages from air bombing. Many houses and churches were damaged.
In 1962 the building of an important petrochemical plant represented a great contribution against the disastrous conditions of the town after the war, mostly due to the interruption of communication with the Eastern Countries and Albania.
In 1977 the explosion of the cracking plant, which killed 3 people and injured 24, determined the general reorganisation of the plant.
Our recent history is characterised by the invasion of thousans of Albanian refugees- especially in 1991 and 1997- seeking a better life.