Piazza Sant'Oronzo

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    • Day 1


      November 13, 2021 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Unsere erste Übernachtung haben wir in der Unterkunft Dimora Dell‘ Artista 2 - super zentral in Lecce! Lecce wird als Florenz des Südens bezeichnet. Grund dafür sind die vielen Bauten im Lecceser Barockstil. Der weiche Tuffstein, der in der Umgebung von Lecce abgebaut wird, machte eine relativ leichtes Bauen möglich, so dass viele Barock-Gebäude im Zentrum zu finden sind.
      Lecce liegt nur 12 km vom Meer entfernt und hat knapp 100.000 Einwohner. Von unserer Unterkunft geht es zu Fuß in nur 5 Minuten in die Innenstadt. Zur Stärkung setzen wir uns mitten in die Gass und starten entspannt mit Aperol und Salento-Platte. Natürlich darf das erste Gelato als Nachtisch auch nicht fehlen. Am Abend streifen wir noch in eine Bar im Industrial-Style und fühlen uns fast wie zu Hause auf der Couch - während Peter sich das Qualifying zur Formel 1 anschaut 🏎
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    • Day 4

      Ciao, Lecce

      March 4 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 52 °F

      It started raining as I was on the train to Lecce. By the time I arrived it was raining, but not too hard. Since there was a line for taxis, I put on my raincoat, pulled out my umbrella, and started to walk.

      This place is beautiful. There are baroque churches and Roman ruins all mixed together. The "hotel" is like the one where I stayed in Rome. It is a multi use building with a B&B. The room is small but fine. It is on the "first" floor, so a lot of stairs until you get there. Luckily, there was an elevator!

      I took a long nap and then headed out to explore. It was raining, but not hard. I ended up at a café and stopped espresso. As I was leaving I saw.a woman from the restaurant in Brindisi. She recognized me too, and we exchanged numbers. She's from Belgium and also traveling alone. We may have dinner one night.

      I stopped for a spritz before dinner at Bob's.
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    • Day 5

      Pasta class

      March 5 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 52 °F

      The class was in a small wine bar, and I was the only student. I was really hoping for more people. The woman who was to be my teacher had everything ready to go, and all I had to do was wash my hands, and we were off.

      I had told her that I was trying to learn Italian, so she spoke in Italian the whole time. First thing, we wet a paper towel under the cutting board to keep it from moving around. Then we scooped 4 spoons of flour into a bowl and made a hole in the center. We added water to the center and "four fingers" of salt. Then we mixed it all up with our fingers, correcting the flour and water until the texture was right. Next was kneading it for about 5 minutes, then making ropes. The ropes were cut into small sections, then the real work started! You have to drag the knife across the dough, then turn it inside out with your thumb. Not easy. At all. I maybe had one good one. After that, it has to rest, to dry out a bit before cooking.

      The next part was a food and wine tasting. A different person led that. When he started to speak to me in English, the woman yelled at him to speak Italian. 😀. First was a white wine with a selection of cheeses. Cacio cavallo, and two goat/sheep milk cheeses. Then a rosatto with bruschetta. Next, a red from the same grape as the rosè, with taralli topped with bitter greens. Finally a primitivo red with my orecchiette! I have a feeling that they mixed some of the ones that the teacher made in with mine... I was entertained by a street cat, Arancione, who came in the restaurant. I love how they take care of the animals here.

      The ladies messaged me to let them know that they were out for drinks and I should join them. So I thanked them and headed out.
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    • Day 6

      Good Day, Sunshine

      April 6, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      We awoke Thursday morning to beautiful blue sunny skies, although there was still a bit of a chill in the air. After a very Italian breakfast of espresso and a nutella and pastry cream filled pastry, we headed out to explore Lecce's old city, armed with our smart phones that we loaded with tourist apps and wikipedia.

      As soon as you step outside in this city, you sense the long and diverse history of the place. Everywhere you look, there are churches, basilicas and cathedrals, some of whose construction dates back to the 16th century. Some of these buildings contain detail and artwork that is rivaled only by St-Peter's in Rome and Notre Dame in Paris. Frankly, while we were en route here, I commented to Brenda that I'm becoming a little tired of looking at all these churches, you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. It's almost like the big guy upstairs was listening in and decided to show me up. The churches here are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The kind of places where your jaw drops open as you stand beneath the central dome. Where you gape up in wonder at all the thousands of hours of work, the buckets of blood, sweat and tears, and the utter devotion that went into creating these masterpieces. I haven't posted many photos of the inside of these places of worship simply because pictures do not do them justice. However, I can't help but share one of the delightful cherubim I spotted in our visits.

      In the early 1900''s, excavation was being undertaken in a couple of areas in the city. While construction work was being started for the new Bank of Italy building, the remains of a Roman amphitheater saw the light of day and, under the guidance of archaeologist, Cosimo De Giorgi, excavation lasted until 1940.

      At present only a third of the entire structure has been uncovered. The church of Santa Maria della Grazia and the Piazza Sant'Oronzo were already in place when this discovery was made, so there was no way to uncover the rest without destroying two landmarks.

      This structure is believed to have seated 25,000 people. When looking down into it, particularly at the iron gates through which gladiators and beasts once passed, one can only wonder how much blood was spilled, how much pain and suffering was inflicted, all in the name of entertainment.

      In 1929, work in the gardens near the Roman Palace was halted when workers' shovels began hitting stone blocks. Under the supervision of architects, the digging continued until a 2000-year-old Roman theater was uncovered. It is estimated that the theater had a seating capacity of 5000. This structure would have hosted plays and musical events.

      We finished off our day eating yet another pizza at LoRe Pizzeria chased down with a Perroni beer. After all, we worked up quite an appetite absorbing all that history and culture.
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