Sunday, August 31, 2008
No, Mr. Lizard is fine by me. It's Mr. Gecko I can't stand! He and his friends are in the house all the time, scurrying across the walls, hanging from the ceiling when you least expect it. And then, they die. Ok, it's not his fault, it happens to everyone sooner or later...but when a gecko dies in the house, he leaves a really bad smell...and most of the time there's nothing to be done about it...because his little gecko corpse is hiding somewhere behind the furniture, or in the wooden blinds...and you'll never find it! No, I don't like geckos...
Saturday, August 30, 2008
This is the Forno of Arturo Petrone. In this photo you can see the tools of his trade. A large pile of wood to the right, and his many long-handled paddles for putting the dishes in and getting them back out of the oven. The opening to the oven makes it seem small but it is actually enormous inside.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Back to the surface, safe and sound! I love that Raffaele gives the kids this opportunity. You have to be at least 12 to get your scuba diving license, so this is as close as G. will get to the real thing for some time. But, that doesn't make him any less enthusiastic. He's already talking about "when I do snorkeling class NEXT summer..."
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The flipside of the blue sky is that it rarely rains. Nice for beachgoing, but not so great in the longrun for plants, animals and people. In fact, Apulia (this region of Italy) and the other regions of southern Italy are undergoing the process of desertification. Which means the transformation of land once suitable for agriculture into desert. Desertification can result from climate change or from human practices such as deforestation and overgrazing.
It looked like rain both yesterday and today...but...besides the clouds and distant thunder...no water came down from the sky.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The lampasciouli were for sale at the same little shop as yesterday's snails. Here's a shot of the shop's interior. The chair in the foreground is where the grandmother sits, but she ran away saying, "no, no, I'll ruin the photo!" Too bad...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This shop is no more than a single, groundfloor room out of which a family has been selling their snails and other choice items for decades. I asked them for a snail recipe, but all they told me was to boil them till they slide out of their shells and then eat them straight. More elaborate recipes include sautéing them with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and cherry tomatoes.
Have you ever eaten snails?
Monday, August 25, 2008
Fishing boats on the beach.
Grottoes carved into the face of the cliffs by the water over the millenia. The walls inside the grottoes are full of seashell fossils. I did take pictures, but the white fossils on the white rock didn't show up.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This concert was special because it was also a fundraiser for Luca Mongelli, a 13 year old boy from Giovinazzo. When he was 7 his family lived in Switzerland. One day, while he was playing outside, he was attacked and left for dead in the snow. Luckily, his mother found him, but Luca was in a coma for 3 months and the doctors had all but given up hope on him when he woke up. He is now blind and confined to a wheelchair, but has made great progress thanks to special treatment available only in the US. Renzo Arbore donated €50,000 of the proceeds from last night's concert to Luca's family.
Information on how to help Luca can be found at this link. It's all in Italian, but I'd be happy to help anyone needing a translation.
p.s. here's some music by Renzo Arbore and the Italian Orchestra...
Saturday, August 23, 2008
(If you want to see the beefy lifeguard, however, the Beach Bar is your best bet!)
Friday, August 22, 2008
More photos of Cala Incina tomorrow...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
My mother-in-law used to tell amazing stories of the occupation, first by the Germans, then by the Americans. Both were polite and reasonably well-behaved in her experience, despite the fact that they had requisitioned a large part of the building she lived in. She even had an admirer, John from Texas, who serenaded her with his guitar from below her window. She wasn't interested, but that guitar has become a family heirloom. John, who died soon after at the front, carved "Remember me" on the guitar...and we have.
This is what Via Tenente Ragno looks like now. You can hardly see the writing on the wall...and most people pass by without noticing it or thinking about what it means.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
*Click on the photo below to see the quantity of garbage*
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The one in the photo above is still alive (it didn't want to sit still for the picture!) and they are eaten while alive, with the top half containing the "eye" cut off (so it can't see what you are doing to it?).
This plateful is ready to be eaten. You either just lick the insides out or, if you're feeling slightly more refined, you scoop them out with a small piece of bread.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This is the view through the windshield into Leonardo's cab. Notice the rosary. A lot of Italian truck drivers decorate their cabs with crucifixes, or images of Jesus or Mary. You need all the protection you can get if you're on the road all day!
Monday, August 4, 2008
These are what's left of the wild garlic flowers that grow along the coast. The hot sun has baked them brown, like the grass behind them. The wall is a falling down example of the dry stone walls (dry meaning no mortar is used, just one stone piled up on top of the next) that you find throughout the countryside.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
This watchtower was built onto the historic centre's sea wall in 1515 to defend the city from the invasions by Turkish and Croatian pirates that were a constant threat to the people living along the Adriatic coast. It is circular and has two main sections: a cistern on the lower level and an upper level used to store arms. At its base its walls are 5 meters thick but gradually get thinner towards the top. It was rebuilt in 1633 after Molfetta was sacked by French troops.
It has recently been completely restored and is open to visitors. It is often the site of modern art exhibits by local and international artists.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
This is obviously not your usual touristy picture postcard shot. But it's a reality of life in Molfetta. Over the past couple of years the town has become increasingly full of garbage, the streets and public beaches are a mess. The quiet country lane I live on just outside of town has become a favorite dumping ground for all kinds of refuse, but particularly the large unweildy appliance or unwanted item of furniture. Not exactly what we figured on when we decided to "move to the country"!
Now, in the heat of the summer, all it takes is for one unthinking person to flick his cigarette butt out the car window and you have an instant conflagration...which is exactly what happened across the street from us two days ago.
The fact that the fire department didn't arrive until two hours had passed and six different phone calls had been made is yet another story of things that aren't quite right around here... We only have one fire squad (for a city of well over 60,000 inhabitants)and there were four separate fires at around the same time that day...
Friday, August 1, 2008
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