This past weekend I went way down south. My goals were to spend time on the beach, eat seafood, and see some history. Not only did I accomplish those goals but I also got sunburnt and covered in mosquito bites! Nothing says summer like sun, sand, and red itchy skin.
I spent most of my weekend in Bari, but took a day trip to see the sites of Lecce. The above picture is of the Porta Napoli. Besides a big gate, Lecce is the home of several Baroque cathedrals and two roman amphitheaters.
I stayed at a hostel in Bari that provided tours to Monopoli, Polignano a Mare, and Alberbello. Though the water in Monopoli was a little cold for swimming, it was most certainly the clearest water I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve never seen anything so blue.
The district of Alberbello where all the Trulli houses are located is a UNESCO world heritage site. These distinct houses were built in 1400 and are still homes and shops today. Some of the cones are painted with pagan symbols that were later incorporated into the Catholic faith with the spread of Christianity. These symbols are doves, crosses, and pierced hearts.
Polignano a Mare is a beautiful, whitewashed town surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. The most famous location in Polignano is a restaurant built into a cave overlooking the sea. It’s famous for a few reasons, like the view, but mostly because a reservation costs ninety five euros per person. Needless to say, I didn’t get to go inside.
Bari itself is a relatively small city full of fishermen and tourists. I bravely ate raw octopus, calamari, mussels, and clams. I liked all of them, but certainly prefer them battered and fried. You can put the American in Italy, but can’t expect them to want anything but fried butter!
Now that I’m only a month from coming home, I was glad that I had the time to visit Bari. The Baresi people would tell me that after five months in Italy, and speaking with at least a certain level of fluency, that I’m practically Italian. I don’t quite believe them, I’m still a little unsure about men in speedos, but I certainly know how to take a compliment.