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9 travelers at this place

  • Day413

    Gallipoli, Italien

    May 19, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Durch einen zu hohen Schwell/Wellengang konnten wir nicht in Otronto festmachen, was ein Chaos am Morgen. Hafen Information und Tagesprogramm mussten fix neu geschrieben werden, dann hieß es wir Tendern, Hafeninfo gedruckt gerade dann kam die Info, wir liegen doch an der Pier😳

    Naja, nach dem Chaos am Morgen war der Tag dafür umso schöner😍
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  • Day9

    Mystery Solved

    April 9, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    The other day I posted a couple of photos of what appeared to be a nun that was seemingly hung by the neck and put on public display. Well, it seems the worst is yet to come for this poor creature: she will be lit on fire at noon on Easter Sunday!

    As it turns out, even though we are in the deep south, there are no lynchings going on here.

    The old woman is known as La Caremma, which translates to English as Lent. She is created to look like a witch, and she represents all that is evil. She is hung out on the first day of Lent and an orange, with seven capon feathers stuck into it, is placed below her feet. One feather is removed on each of the following Sundays leading up to Easter when, at noon, she is lit on fire or blown to pieces with fireworks to complete her exorcism and purification.

    The most devout Catholics here will continue the purification at home by opening their doors and saying, "Essi tristu e fanne trasire Cristu" (Out with evil, in with Christ). And then they all sit down to Easter dinner and the end of their forty day fast.

    La Caremma also represents the symbol of waiting. For weeks she hangs from the gallows in the crossroads of the streets for all to see, but above all to despise her because she is so ugly and horrible.

    Her black dress makes her even more disturbing, especially to children, in whom she inspires terror and fear. Easter Sunday is anticipated as the day of liberation, the day when the old witch will no longer be visible and can no longer cause harm (if only in the imagination) to anyone.
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    Really enjoying you posts Roch. You've probably been told this before, but you're a really talented writer!! Great description and story telling!! This is an interesting thing they do and seems rather ritualistic with the witch and burning....reminds me of voodoo. Very unlike christianity.


    whoops, up there was me, Mabel :).


    up there meaning what I wrote, not the witch that's hanging up there!!! LOL!!!

  • Day9


    April 9, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Our primary reason for our one day stay in Brindisi was to pickup a rental car at the airport there. Strangely, although Lecce is a much bigger city, there are no car rental agencies there, so we had no choice but to detour north before heading to our next stop, Gallipoli.

    After we checked into our Brindisi hotel, I put my hand in my jacket pocket and realized I had not handed in the keys at our Lecce hotel. fortunately, Lecce was on our way to Gallipoli, so we called the hotel and told them we'd stop in on our way through and return the keys. D'oh!

    Being used to travel in Canada, I sometimes forget that not every map is on the same scale as the ones back home. Looking at the map of Puglia, I figured we were in for a good two to three-hour ride to Gallipoli. Much to my surprise and joy, the entire ride from Brindisi to Gallipoli, including our stop in Lecce, took only an hour and a half.

    We booked an Airbnb apartment right on the coast, a fifteen-minute walk to the old town, for four nights. Once we got inside, looked the place over and saw the location, we immediately booked two additional nights. Our host had left us a huge plate of fresh fruit on the kitchen table and, just off the kitchen is a very large deck that looks out onto the water and the old town in the distance.

    Once we unpacked our bags and ate a few pieces of fruit we walked the fifteen minutes into the old town and did some exploring. The city is charming, ancient and quite beautiful. Its location is central enough for us to make various day trips to further our exploration of the Puglia region.

    The only odd, and somewhat unnerving, thing we saw in the city were two effigies, seemingly of nuns, hanging above the street. I'm going to have to do some research to see what that's all about.

    Hopefully the townsfolk will be a little more tolerant of a big bald Canadian.
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    hanging nuns?! weird!! betty

    Roch Pelletier

    Yes, but see my new post.

  • Day11

    The Deep South (Part I)

    April 11, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today we continued our exploration of Puglia by jumping into La Grande Orange, our rental car, and driving around the bottom of the Italian boot heel, from Gallipoli to Otranto. We had hoped to make the journey by following the coast all the way, however between roadwork and missed turns, we didn't always mange to stay in sight of water. Nonetheless, the ride was unbelievably scenic and inspired more than a few oohs and aaahs to escape our mouths. Unfortunately, the roads are often so twisty and narrow, it was far too dangerous to stop and take souvenir photos.

    The Western side of the heel is coast to the Ionian sea and runs from fairly flat, sandy beaches near Gallipoli to rocky rolling hills as one travels further south.

    This road trip saw us visit two extremes of Italy: the southernmost point and the easternmost point.

    Our first stop was just to the west of the city of Santa Maria de Leuca on a little spit of land where the Ionian Sea meets the Adriatic. This point is as far south as one can travel in Italy. I felt a need to go there as I had already been to the southernmost point in the USA, Key West, Florida, and the kid in me had to have the experience on a second continent. However, unlike the US where the landmark is teeming with tourist trap shops selling everything imaginable with "Mile 0" printed on it, we were hard pressed in Italy to be certain we were in the right spot. We had to look at Google Maps on our phone to ensure we were indeed there, and sure enough, the little blue dot confirmed our position.

    From our vantage point we could look over at Leuca and see an ancient flight of stairs climbing from the lower part of the city to the upper. Brenda immediately decided she wanted to conquer them. As we explored the city, we real realized the stairs were inaccessible from where we were and, although I offered to drive to the foot of the staircase, Brenda decided to forego the challenge.

    Traveling in Italy at this time of year is both rewarding and disappointing. Rewarding because there are no throngs of tourists all vying for a glimpse of the same landmark and disappointing, particularly in the smaller cities, because virtually nothing is open. And so, after wandering around for a while, we decided to head off northward to our next stop.

    Sometimes the navigation system in La Grande Orange is a little slow on the uptake and, as luck would have it, she lagged just as we came to a fork in the road leaving Leuca. Brenda suggested we take the right fork and we suddenly found ourselves in front of a large church overlooking the city at the top of Brenda's coveted staircase.

    The church, which, in contrast to so many of the places of worship here, was so simply decorated I assumed it must have been built recently whereas Brenda was certain it was very old. Everything being relative, I guess we were both right, it was erected in the 1700's on the site of a former Roman temple.

    After seeing the church and admiring the windswept trees in the piazza, Brenda was compelled to tackle the stairs. I, on the other hand, had no such desire and found myself waiting at the top of the monument with another tourist who was in the same predicament as I. His wife panted her way up to meet him about five minutes later and they went on their way while I waited for Brenda to complete her ascension of the 284 steps.

    Interestingly, between the twin staircases there is a monumental man-made waterfall, built to signal the completion of the Puglia aqueduct. To showcase the grand project, Mussolini ordered the construction of a suitably showy finale: the mouth of the aqueduct is built into a bridge at the top of the promontory and a waterway of rocks falls away below, flanked on either side by 284 steps. The cascade is still opened a few times a year, but, sadly, not on the day of our visit.

    Tomorrow I'll write about our northbound travels.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gallipoli, Kaddhipuli, Галлиполи