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Author Topic: MAGNA GRAECIA  (Read 6006 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2008, 10:39:52 pm »

Living history

No other image says Puglia better than the trullo, a rural home that's essentially a whitewashed
teepee of small limestone slabs stacked without mortar, with a cone surmounted by pagan or
religious symbols. They are scattered among olive groves and huge prickly pear cacti in the Valle
d'Itria, inland in a triangle between Bari, Taranto and Brindisi.

Of unknown origin and unique to Puglia, they date at least from the Middle Ages. Most are still in-
habited and more than 1,400 huddle in Alberobello. The town might feel a bit too touristy for Puglia,
with its souvenir shops exhibiting plastic trulli, but it only takes a look at the clotheslines in a trullo
backyard to realize that real life goes on in this primitive fairytale place.

Farther inland is the Murge, scorched highlands grooved by canyons where, in the Middle Ages,
people built cave dwellings as homes and churches when they fled from pirates.

The most famous dwellings of all are the Sassi in Matera, which is just across the state line in the
Basilicata region.

Below the modern town and built on the side of a steep ravine, two whole neighborhoods of single-room
cave dwellings and rock-hewn, frescoed churches were inhabited first by hermits and then by families
until the 1960s.

While some are now trendy hotels and restaurants, they still look so authentically ancient that Mel Gibson
filmed scenes here for "The Passion of the Christ."
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 11:01:17 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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