|our first views of the Adriatic Sea|
|I loved their cute little address signs- every single one was identical in design.|
|altars to Mary pop up every now and again in Italy|
After Monopoli, we headed just down the road to Polignano a Mare, another seaside town. This town was slightly bigger and the Pasquetta, Easter Monday, celebrations were clearly visible. Several streets were shut down (this added a bit of stress while driving...ugh!) and most of the locals were out enjoying the sunshine that had broken through the morning's gray clouds. We wandered around the old town and found the real gem of the city, a whole parking lot with no one in it! Of course, right? After driving tiny roads and one way streets, we finally happened upon hundreds of parking spots. But, we had already parked. In reality, the real gem of the city is it's seaside cliffs and gorgeous views. I was completely surprised by this and think that this would be a great place to spend some more time in the summer.
|Polignano a Mare|
|There was a bit of poetry and phrases painted on various doors and things in the old town.|
|Six inch heels and sweatpants? Are you kidding?|
Yet I've seen this more than once.
Up next, Trani. We kept reading about this town's cathedral in various articles so we decided to drive quite a bit out of the way to check it out. The cathedral is perched right on the sea and it is nice to look at against the blue of the Adriatic. However that day it was extremely windy and the church was not open, so we couldn't see if there was anything special inside.
The town itself ended up being pretty disappointing overall. I'm not sure if it was because it was Easter Monday or what, but I think we left wondering what all the fuss was about.
|cathedral by the sea|
Despite three stops under our belt for the day, we still had one more planned, Castel del Monte. A castle perched high a top a hill that gives views of all the surrounding areas. I figured that this site would be fairly empty of tourists, given that it was somewhat remote and Easter Monday, but it turned out that I was totally wrong. This Unesco site was packed. Next door was some kind of campground/picnic area which apparently became a meeting spot for every local family over the holiday weekend. We had to park in this area and hike up to the castle. The castle itself was fairly basic, no decorative details or extravagance. There was a €5 charge to enter the castle, but they had a sign that teachers could receive a reduced price. When we went inside we eached showed off our Italian Carta d'Identita and told the guy we were teachers. He balked at our proof! How could we be teachers in Italy? Where did we work? He referred to a colleague who took one look at our cartas and said we were, in fact, entitled to the price for teachers, which turned out to be FREE! Score one for the American girls working in Italy.