This small park on the corners of Via Massimo D'Azeglio and Via Goffredo Mamelli was recently cleaned up and provided with new lawns, benches and play equipment. That's nice because there aren't a lot of places where children can play safely around town.
April 25th is the Day of Liberation which celebrates Italy's freedom from Mussolini's dictatorship. It's a national holiday, which is celebrated in a variety of different events around the country. This year we participated in an event called the 4th National Farm Guesthouse Day by visiting an "agriturismo" called Masseria Abbondanza, located near the town of Noci. Demonstrations of how to make focaccia and mozzarella were held, with taste-testing of the final product, of course! Rides were available in several different kinds of horse-drawn carts and there was a guided tour through the brush of the Murgia, the area of high flatland were this farm is located.
Don't let this sunny image fool you, it's raining here again. But I've had enough gray for one year, so no more photos of the wet stuff. I don't know what kind of insect this is exactly, but the flowers are full of them these days!
There's no connection between this photo and Jimmy Buffet's famous song Margaritaville, except that "margherita" means "daisy" in Italian. And I guess I could use a dose of sun, spongecake and margaritas right about now!
It is difficult to get a good shot of buildings in the old town because the streets are so narrow that you can't get far enough away to get the whole structure in the frame. This is part of the Church of Saint Peter, built in 1174 and rennovated once in 1660 and again between 1750-56, when it was given its Baroque facade. It is home to an order of cloistered nuns.
This second shot gives you a good idea of some of the things blocking a straight view to the church!
That spot may have seemed like a good idea when you dragged yourself home in who knows what shape in the middle of the night, but come morning things look a little different. What if, by chance, someone actually wants to get in or out of that doctor's office (left) or apartment building (on the right)?
The streets in the older sections of town are paved with "chianche" or large rectangular stones. The stones are chipped on the top surface to provide more grip for cars and pedestrians, but when it's been raining (like this morning) I can assure you from personal experience that they are quite treacherous. I have taken a dive several times. Luckily I have never caused myself serious bodily harm, just massive levels of embarrassment!
This is the view from our first-floor porch. That little square structure built on what looks like a finger of land sticking out into the sea in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo is the Torre Gavetone, which I have shown you before here.
This is the tallest building in Molfetta's center...10 whole stories! Other buildings as tall or taller have been built on the outskirts of town, but for many years this was Molfetta's only "skyscraper."
Nice doggie! Please don't shake off that water right here next to me! I know you are having a great time diving into the sea to retrieve sticks. What could be more fun? But, please don't shake right here...oops! Too late...
Rather than having a traditional Easter lunch at home, we decided to drive down to Savelletri and dine at an open-air eatery on the sea. At Savelletri the coast is dotted with these places which serve a variety of seafood, but specialise in raw hedgehog sea urchins. These are served cut open and you can either scoop out the edible part with a piece of bread or just lick it with your tongue.
Personally, I don't care for raw seafood, but I did not go hungry. My lunch started with an octopus salad.
And continued with a grilled swordfish steak.
My husband and son had spaghetti with seafood after their sea urchins.
Each year my sons and I buy a "case" of eggs to decorate for Easter. There are two chicken farms that sell fresh eggs daily. Both are located just outside of town and are, actually, situated right next to each other.
The photo above shows the farm run by two rather unfriendly fellows who seem to just want you to buy your eggs and get out of their way as fast as possible. They have the same sort of no-nonsense approach in the way they keep their hens, which are locked up in individual cages allowing them only enough space to move their heads.
The farm next door is run by a much friendlier vegetarian, who keeps her 2000 chickens in a large communal space. It's not quite free-range, but at least they can move around a bit.
I know where I'd rather come to roost if I were a chicken!
One of the most treasured traditions of Holy Week in Molfetta is visiting the "sepulchres" on the evening of Holy Thursday. Every church in town creates its own interpretation of Christ's tomb and the streets are filled with Molfettans who walk from church to church to see them and say a prayer.
Two things are important when "doing the sepulchres." The first is that you must visit an odd number of churches: 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. The second important aspect element of the evening is to eat a "pizzaridd," which is a tuna sandwich.
I forgot my memory stick at home (how could I?!) so my husband used his cellphone to take this photo of the sepulchre at the Church of Saint Anthony in the historical center. If you look carefully, you can see a statue of Jesus on the cross inside the entryway.