Southern Italy Paradise
Trip Start Jan 24, 2014
19Trip End May 02, 2014
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Earlier this week we have a dinner party with all of the Brothers and Sisters of the Assumptionists. Yes, we had nuns and priests over for dinner and they spoke a variety of languages ranging from Italian to French to English to Spanish. It was a ton of fun and they are all so friendly!
After this stressful week of midterms, we traveled 3 and a half hours (on the fast train) to the region of Puglia! We stayed specifically in a very small town called Barletta which is where our Professor's niece, Marissa, lives! Her and her husband, Manu, were our guides for the weekend. Actually her story was quite amazing! She studied abroad in her junior year for a year in Urbino and attended an actual Italian University where she met Manu
We arrived late Thursday night and went out to a dinner that started at 8:30 and ended at 11. Thats consider an early dinner for them. But anyways, the best part of the meal was the pasta. We had the pasta Orecchiette, which is the specific pasta of the region. At that restaurant, the pasta was hand made by local grandmothers of Barletta! It was delicious! Nico, Marge (Maggie as we now call her), and I shared a room together, and we got the best room in Barletta! It had a spiral Rapunzel staircase that led to a Hobbit-door. Inside we had a futon, queen bed, bunk beds, and two balconies! One attached to the bedroom and one off the bathroom! Some people didn't even have windows and we had a gorgeous room!
Friday we woke up and Marissa showed us how to get to the beach which we could only see for a few minutes because we then traveled by train to the nearby town of Trani! Trani was a stunning seaport town with the bluest water you can imagine
Saturday morning we traveled to the Castel del Monte which is a castle near Barletta with an interesting story. No one has any idea as to how it was built, who built it, and who lived there, if anyone lived there. It is an octangular castle with eight rooms on each corner, all exactly identical. The second floor is exactly the same. and in the center of the castle is an open courtyard with the rooms attached the open area. The only known information is that the ruler of the region in the 12th century commissioned the same stone used for the building to be collected from mountains.
Sunday we woke up, ate breakfast, went to the local flea market (where I bought an Italian CD) and then went to the beach. We found cool shells that looked like half-starfish/ half shells. We also found an empty bottle on the beach and decided to write a note on the back of a receipt and throw it into the water! We then packed up and boarded the train. We were all devasted to leave Puglia because it is such a calm, clean, serene place!