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MAGNA GRAECIA

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Bianca
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« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2008, 10:04:38 pm »





                                           
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« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2008, 10:06:39 pm »




                                           
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« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2008, 10:09:29 pm »





               
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« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2008, 10:14:45 pm »

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« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2008, 10:17:29 pm »

« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 10:26:24 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2008, 10:25:08 pm »

« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 10:39:52 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2008, 10:41:45 pm »

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« Reply #52 on: November 01, 2008, 10:33:39 pm »



Tourists visit the Santa Croce Basilica in Lecce, in southern
Italy's Puglia region.

By Ivan Tortorella,
AP
                                                                                     










                                            Puglia: Italy's heel has it all, except tourists








Updated 4/26/2007
By Giovanna Dell'orto,
Associated Press Writer

POLIGNANO A MARE, Italy Puglia has some of the brightest seas, most diverse art and architecture, most mouthwatering peasant cuisine and kindest people in all of Italy including strangers who will
go out of their way to lead you to one after another stunning beach on impossibly lapis-lazuli waters.

Puglia is the heel to Italy's boot, and after two weeks spent touring the region, I felt grateful that
charter airlines don't disgorge hordes of tourists here.

These are just some of the reasons:
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« Reply #53 on: November 01, 2008, 10:36:52 pm »



Fishing boats sit in Porto Badisco, in southern Italy's Puglia region,
near Lecce. The region has some of the brightest seas.








Brilliant seas



"I said put it back, this is a natural park," a stern father told his son. He was pointing to the octopus
that sat with protruding eyes on the boy's shoulders after being plucked from the crystalline waters
at Natural Maritime Reserve of Torre Guaceto, just north of Brindisi.

With more than 500 miles of coast on two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian, Puglia has all sorts of
gorgeous beaches. For white limestone cliffs spotted with the deep green of gnarled pine trees, try
the southernmost tip of Salento.

At opposite ends of this peninsula, I swam in the fingerlike cove of Porto Badisco, where legend has it
that Italy's mythological founder, Aeneas, landed, and I dove even deeper into history at Portoselvaggio,
where remains of Neanderthal men were found.

A few miles north, it's all about sandy expanses, like Punta della Suina, where the setting sun turns the
transparent water pink.

But it's Torre Guaceto that gets my gold medal for the baby-powder white sand, the schools of silvery
fish flitting from reef-like rock formations in pools of turquoise water, and the scent of pine needles drifting
from the pristine forest that borders the beach.
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« Reply #54 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

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« Reply #55 on: November 01, 2008, 10:46:59 pm »



LOCOROTONDO









Cities as art



Art is not a masterpiece in a museum but a whole downtown in Valle d'Itria cities like Locorotondo,
or, by the coast, in Bari, Ostuni and Lecce.

Locorotondo is a round nest of a village where everything is white except for the bright splashes
of red flowers that overtake its wrought-iron balconies. Ostuni is even more blinding, though a sea breeze
caresses you as you hike up and down its steep inclines and marvel at the sculpted baroque portals on its whitewashed houses.

But you haven't seen Baroque in all its theatrical, indulgent, luxuriant excess until you've spent an evening
among the wreaths of fruit and the pinup women sculpted on the golden limestone churches and palaces of
Lecce.

By comparison, the medieval downtown of Bari is austere, centered on the Basilica di San Nicola, built be-
tween the 10th and 12th centuries to honor its patron saint (yes, it's the real St. Nicholas, "Santa Claus").

The busy port city is trying to overcome its dangerous reputation, but the only person that chased
us in the narrow alleys was a grocery store clerk with a cold bottle of water, concerned that ours
had become too warm as friends and I waited for another clerk to make our sandwiches.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 11:07:28 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2008, 10:48:37 pm »



CASTEL DEL MONTE









Art gems



Medieval masterpieces are everywhere on the eastern coast, beginning with the inscrutable
Castel del Monte. We know the octagonal castle was built by Emperor Frederick II, one of the
most powerful men in the Middle Ages, in the early 13th century. But nobody quite knows why.

Isolated on a small hill, it lacks both the architecture and the location for a military fort, and it's
way too imposing to be a pleasure palace. The most evocative hypothesis is that it was an in-
tricate symbol, built around the magic intersection of astronomy, mathematics and the Christian
faith.

Traveling south, the Romanesque cathedrals at Trani and Otranto seem to rise from the sea. The
latter's floor is covered by a mosaic from 1165 representing the tree of life, a hopeful message in
the site of a massacre a chapel houses the remains of the 800 citizens who were slaughtered in
the church where they had fled an assault by Islamic armies in 1481.

Puglia, like most of southern Italy, has been conquered over and over by northern and Mediterranean
armies since Greek colonizers established flourishing city-states on its coasts. More than 2,500 years
later, their heirs still speak Griko, a dialect of archaic Greek, in the inland Grecia Salentina.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 11:10:50 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2008, 10:50:40 pm »






                                 









Octopus to figs



I'll admit that the powerfully alcoholic red Salentine wine played a role in my dancing the pizzica
pizzica, the local version of tarantella, one night in the streets of tiny Serrano.

But the food that went with it at the farmers' fair was just as worthy of celebrating, including
Puglia's staple, orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), as well as horse meat steaks, ciceri e tria
(handmade tagliatelle with garbanzo beans), fave e cicoria (pureed fava beans and chicory),
cakes spilling over with figs.

Meat, grilled or cured, reigns inland, nowhere more spectacularly than at Cisternino in trulli land.

At night, the absurdly numerous butchers of this whitewashed village set up tiny tables on the
sidewalks and cook to order whatever you select from their marble counters, preceded by mini-
scule black olives, homemade cheeses and salami.

Seafood, including delicacies like octopus and sea urchins, rule the coast in hole-in-the-wall trattorie
like Nonna Tetti in Lecce.

I had a hard time finishing pignata di polpo there, when the whole octopus was brought to me in a clay
pot especially since I had already had mozzarella di bufala, fried vegetables, and linguine with mussels.

I needed similar endurance when gratitude compelled me to start my last dinner in Puglia with a
humble pizza margherita. This must be the only region in Italy where the tomato-and-mozzarella
staple of generations of students and workers still only costs about $2.50.

Puglia is Italy's top olive oil producer, so, for 660 miles. back to northern Italy, I carried a three-
gallon tank of thick olive oil in front of my car seat, sheltering it from the sun that for two weeks
hadn't stopped blazing and that pervades every facet of life here.

I kept thinking about a verse from an Italian poem that was used on an old tourism ad for southern Italy.
Roughly translated, it was something like this:


"No earthly hope can give my heart peace as much

as the certainty of sun that overflows from your sky."




Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 11:46:43 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2008, 07:40:26 pm »

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« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2008, 07:42:45 pm »










                                                                    T R U L L I






A trullo (plural, trulli) is a traditional Apulian stone dwelling with a conical roof.

The style of construction is specific to Itria Valley (in Italian: Valle d'Itria), in the Murge area of the Italian
region of Apulia (in Italian Puglia).

They may be found in the towns of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Fasano, Cisternino, Martina Franca and Ceglie Messapica.

Trulli were generally constructed as dwellings or storehouses. Traditionally they were built without any cement
or mortar. This style of construction is also prevalent in the surrounding countryside where most of the fields
are separated by dry-stone walls.

 The roofs are constructed in two layers: an inner layer of limestone boulders, capped by a keystone, and an
outer layer of limestone slabs ensuring that the structure is watertight.

Originally, the conical structure would have been built directly on the ground, but most of the surviving structures are based on perimeter walls.

In Alberobello atop a trullo's cone there is normally a pinnacle, that may be one of many designs, chosen for symbolism. Additionally, the cone itself may have a symbol painted on it (as shown in the picture of the trulli
in Alberobello.) Such symbols may include planetary symbols, the malochio (evil eye), the cross, a heart, a star and crescent, or quite a few others.

The walls are very thick, providing a cool environment in hot weather and insulating against the cold in the winter. The vast majority of trulli have one room under each conical roof: a multiroomed trullo house has many cones representing a room each. Children would sleep in alcoves made in the wall with curtains hung in front.

There are many theories behind the origin of the design. One of the more popular theories is that due to high taxation on property the people of Puglia created dry wall constructions so that they could be dismantled when inspectors were in the area.

Today the surviving trulli are popular among English and German tourists and are often bought and restored
for general use.

However, anyone wishing to restore a trullo needs to conform with many regulations as trulli are protected under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage law.
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