May 1, 2018
The roads are crazy busy on this “Labour Day” in Italy. We had breakfast at Sweet Passion, a different bar this morning. Our lodging manager met us there and we gave him back the keys to Trullo Panorama. We had our cappuccino but this time we picked the croissant and tarts we wanted and stopped with much less than yesterday. Healthier!
Be aware that if you wanted to stay in Trullo Panorama. The one we had was on Booking but the other is found on Google. They are both near Locorotondo but they are not the same. Although the trullo we had was beautiful and very comfortable, I would recommend it as a rental rather than a B and B. Driving five kilometres to town for breakfast is not the best use of time. Although the house is spacious with extra pullout couches, it is really only suitable for two people as there is only one bathroom and that is through the master bedroom. There are two other buildings on the property which probably have a bedroom and bathroom in each. This would make it more feasible for a bigger group. A barbecue and Internet were advertised but we had neither.
We drove to Trani, on the Adriatic Coast, north of Bari. The port of Bari is a major entry point to Italy on the east coast, also a stop for cruise ships. We avoided it, skirting the edge on a six lane highway. You know it’s a city when it advertises IKEA, McDonald’s and outlet malls well ahead of city exits. Not for us.
Trani is plenty busy. I suspect it was once only a fishing port, but sail boats and other pleasure craft now outnumber the fishing boats. There is one expensive looking sailboat that probably measures one hundred feet long occupying a central position in the inner harbour. Would love to sail on that one! The mast is all lit up tonight vying for attention with the cathedral bell tower.
The very tall large San Nicolas Cathedral on the edge of the outer harbour has a rather plain interior from a carving/painting perspective but it has a dozen pair of massive stone columns on either side of the central nave. The lower floor houses a crypt with the bones of San Nicolas and another full church. There are two elephants carved in marble on either side of the ornately carved vaulted front doors. Above the elephants are lions and above them more carvings difficult to discern without binoculars.
Finding a parking space was akin to winning the lottery but eventually we won. We entered the nearby Europa Bar to buy parking tickets. We needed to buy three tickets on which we scratched the date and time periods that would get us to tomorrow morning. Not pricey at 4.5 euros. Although our room was five hundred metres away from the car, we walked two kilometres around the harbour, without our backpacks, as we knew we were early for check-in.
We took the short route back to the car to pick up our packs.
Trani is a beautiful pedestrian friendly harbour even when the pedestrians number in the thousands. We always seemed to be walking against the flow. I think we were out of sync with the round and back walking of the harbour. I only heard one couple speaking French. Everyone else spoke Italian. We were the only obvious foreigners. Our relaxed fit Kuhl pants do not match tight fitting ripped jeans or tight fitting large flowered patterned pants, only 155 euros if I wanted a pair! I do not because I would then need matching bright pink stiletto heels and large matching leather handbag. The adolescent crowd tend to be wearing high top canvas Converse or Keds sneakers. More practical than stilettos on cobblestone but not as comfortable as my Keene sandals or Solomon hiking shoes.
We dined al fresco in front of a small fish shop. We each had a seafood sandwich made
with huge fresh buns. I had a swordfish one and Brian shrimp but we each shared half of the other’s. Delicious.
Imagine: we stayed out past dark tonight! We thought there might be fireworks as part of the festivities. Nope! We sat like locals on the harbour wall people watching. Brian spotted a school of fish in the water and that got the couple next to us speaking to us in Italian. I carried on a lengthy conversation with them. They did not speak English. They were impressed with my Italian, as was I! They were from Andria, ten kilometres away, have been married twenty-five years, have three children in university, and quizzed me about Canada. We talked about one another’s travels. Lots of fun!
A piece of pizza later and we are back in our room at Al Vico. Isabella has two rooms on the second floor of a very old house on a side street half a block from the harbour. Once again we have very high ceilings, but instead of fields we look into the alley below where there is a pizzeria and outdoor tables. We hope people are starting to go home. The music and street noises are decreasing.