Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moon and Star

I didn't get much definition in this photo, but I sure like the colors.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Slice of Adriatic Sea

I realise I've been posting a lot of shots of the sea lately. It is awfully pretty, though, you must admit. And this is the time of year when I start getting tired of winter and wishing summer (read beach season!) were here.

Not that I should complain...we hardly have what many of you would consider a "real" winter with real cold, snow drifts, ice storms or anything like that. But for us here in Molfetta, these temperatures feel cold and I, for one, am getting tired of the winter coat and wool sweaters.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This photo was taken from the same spot as yesterday's, but looking to the left of the road that winds down to the sea. You can see the remains of an old dry-stone wall to the right and in the background an abandoned stone house.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

To the Sea

An unpaved road leading down to a beach on the sea between Molfetta and Giovinazzo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Molfetta Carnival Festival. A parade was held on Sunday and a repeat show will take place this afternoon at 3p.m. There are four of these large floats made of papier-mache by Molfettan craftsmen, collaborating for the first time this year with the float-makers of Putignano (an Apulian town where Italy's oldest Carnival festival is held). Denny Mendez (Miss Italy 1996) will be presenting the parade today. After the parade a Fat Tuesday party will be held in the basketball arena with music, dancing and an appearance by the Cuban singer Miguel Enriquez.

Every town that holds a Carnival festival has its own carnival character. In Molfetta we have "U Toeme." I'm sorry I don't have a photo of him for you, but basically he looks like a scarecrow stuffed with newspaper and straw. He lies dead on a cart pulled by hand, surrounded by mourners, because his is a funeral procession. He represents the Carnival itself and is the very last float in the parade, symbolising the end of the festivities. At the end of the parade he is burned.

Monday, February 23, 2009

King Henry

This weekend was the peak of Carnival festivities. The Carnival "season" begins January 7 and then continues until Fat Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. This can be a longer or shorter period of time depending on when Easter falls each year.

During the entire season you will see children out and about dressed up in costumes as princesses, animals, popular cartoon characters, Zorro, etc. They run around city parks throwing confetti and streamers and spraying colored goop and stink bombs. For an American like me, it seems like a fantastic, extended Halloween.

These last few days of Carnival are celebrated around Italy with parades including elaborate floats, often with themes of political satire, and costumed groups that may sing and/or dance. There are also carnival balls, usually organised for children, but not only. One of the largest and oldest Carnival celebrations in Italy is held in Putignano, right here in Apulia.

Since I have low tolerance for both crowds and cold weather (two essential elements of outdoor Carnival events), I organised a party at home this year. King Henry is featured in the photo above, if you'd like to see the rest of us, check out my blog Amid the Olive Trees (on side bar).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the Street

I have rather mixed feelings about posting this photo. Gypsies and other people who ask for money are an everyday sight throughout this area. In Molfetta they set themselves up at the large intersections around town and ask for a handout from every car stuck at the red light. You will also find them sitting on the ground outside the larger supermarkets, usually with a small child. So, this is a reality here and my blog portrays the reality of life in Molfetta, so why not?

But, the whole issue of beggars on the streets is complicated. A large number of them, like the Gypsies, choose this as a lifestyle, and I find that hard to support. But, others are really down on their luck and could use a hand. How to distinguish the two?

I believe this man was Russian because when I asked him if I could take his picture he replied, "Da" and he didn't understand me when I tried to make conversation. His cardboard sign says,
"Please help me. I am 73 years old. Give me something because I have problems with my head, feet and heart. I do not have a house. Give me something for food and medicines."

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This stone wall runs along the entire length of the Lungomare - to keep people from plunging off and landing down on the sharp stones below, basically. It is also a convenient place to lean or sit during a slow moment in your evening stroll along the seafront. It is often used as a community message board, in that people write all over it: both love and hate notes, phone numbers, indecent proposals, graphic representation of personal attributes or pretty flowers, you name it.

These openings in the wall are found at the end of each street that leads down toward the sea, meeting the Lungomare perpendicularly at the end of the road. There are no hills to speak of in Molfetta, but the land gradually rises as you go inland away from the sea. When it rains these openings and gravity work together to help the rainwater run down the streets and drain into the sea.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Giovinazzo in the Distance

From the end of the Lungomare there's a pretty good view of the Giovinazzo skyline, six kilometers south of Molfetta. Between the two towns lie several public and private beaches which are heavily populated in the summer months.

If you enlarge the photo, and look at the tip of land that extends furthest out into the sea, you can see the bell towers of the Giovinazzo cathedral, built in the 1100s. My husband and I were married in the cathedral's crypt.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snow in Molfetta

Snow is a pretty rare event here in Molfetta. Which is just as well, when you think about it, because the city is not really capable of dealing with it. There aren't any snowplows or machines to salt the roads. If the snow sticks on the ground, it's pretty much a disaster!
But, it sure is pretty while it's coming down!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Along the Lungomare

The "lungomare" is the street that runs along the seafront from Molfetta's historic center south as far as the city swimming pool. Alongside the street there is a wide sidewalk where people go to stroll, chat with friends, breathe the sea air and admire the beauty of the sea. This is a more popular activity in the summertime, but I find the sea beautiful in all seasons.

p.s. 1 p.m. Molfetta's snowing!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

De Gennaro Cement Factory

This old cement factory, just past the train station, is surrounded by apartment buildings and shops. A development plan is currently underway to build a hotel and conference center on this site, incorporating some of the old buildings. There will also be a space for "temporary exhibits." I'm wondering if that means art? In any case, the smokestacks will be saved.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Pullman

The STP, or Società Trasporti Provinciale, translated as the Provincial Transportation Company, runs these big blue buses between towns in the province of Bari. This one has arrived at its destination, as you can see from the word MOLFETTA written across the digital display screen.

I've always wondered why the yellow in-town buses are called "autobus," but these town-to-town buses are called "pullman." George Pullman, the American inventor and industrialist, created the Pullman sleeping car and his company eventually also made trolleys...but these are plain old buses. Well, not so plain, I guess, they are a lovely blue!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chiesa di Sant'Achille

The Church of Sant'Achille is a typical example of "modern" church architecture. It was built in 1983 and, if you ask me, that bell tower looks like some kind of industrial smokestack...but, ok, no one asked me, I know! So I'll just keep my opinions to myself.

If, however, you should happen to agree with me, you'll be happy to know that the cornerstone for the new Church of Sant'Achille was laid in December of 2007 right next door to the old church, in the middle of the sports fields for the parish children. An estimated 3 million euro are necessary to fund the construction of the new building and, at last count parishoners had donated about €15,000. This looks to me like another case of "don't hold your breath," but you never know, I could be wrong.

However, I have seen the drawings for the new church and, as far as architectural style is concerned...well, why don't you check it out for yourself at this link and let me know what you think. Personally, I think they were doing a better job with these buildings about 1,000 years ago...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pink and Blue

This photo was taken at the Prima Cala, a public beach, with my back to the sea, looking inland toward the town.

Along the bottom right you see the perimeter walls of the Paolo Poli stadium which is home to the Molfetta Calcio soccer team, includes track and field facilities and the two clay tennis courts of the Molfetta Tennis Club. The stadium was built in 1923, the bleachers were added in 1953 and a "modern lighting system" was installed in 1994.

Paolo Poli was a soldier from Molfetta who died in the First World War. It seems his father either donated or sold this piece of land, where he previously had a glassworks, for the construction of the stadium, on the condition that it be named after his son.

* Breaking news...we are having snow flurries this morning in Molfetta! That's very unusual for us!

Friday, February 13, 2009


"Don't put all your eggs in one basket" has always been good advice. See what can happen! Especially if you buy your eggs at the "polleria," the shop where they sell chicken, eggs, turkey and other poultry products. I have never understood why they give you your eggs in a plastic bag. Just seems like a disaster waiting to happen!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunset over the Mongolfiera Mall

Today marks my 200th post on Molfetta Daily Photo. I am really glad to have begun this blog and especially to have joined the City Daily Photo community which is full of such kind, supportive and wonderful people. I am not a photographer, my area of expertise has always been linguistic, but through this blog I have discovered the joy of really looking at things and trying to create an interesting image. And it has forced me to stop and think about the place where I live, and how to present it to those of you from other corners of the globe. I started this blog from a feeling of being unhappy with Molfetta's limitations, but through the blog I have (re)discovered how many good things there are here, too. Thanks to all of you who stop by to visit me here every so often!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Here are some more winter flowers growing in the fields near my house. A bit of color for those of you living in colder climates!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Half in Bloom

Last month I showed a close-up shot of the mimosa flowers on the tree that lives just outside my front door. I mentioned how this particular tree blooms half one month and then the other half much later. Well, this shot was taken today and you can clearly see the division of blooming and non-blooming sides of the tree.

I am still really unsatisfied with this new camera of mine. It does okay with close-ups and shots taken a few feet away from the subject, but is no good at all in larger views like the tree above. It really lacks definition. I got much better results with my son's camera, which I think I am about to go dig out of his drawer and start using again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

Even in the dark month of February, we are blessed in Molfetta with fields of flowers around the olive trees. The answer to my son's question was "she loves me not," but he didn't seem too broken up about it. He and his best friend share the same "girlfriend" - it's a 4th grader thing, you wouldn't understand! ;-)

This wonderful award has been presented to me by Kimy of Mouse Medicine (a recent blog of note!) and I am honored that she thinks I deserve it. Now I get to pass it on to five blogging friends whose writing I enjoy. My choices are...

Sara at It's Lovely, I'll Take It because she consistently makes me fall off my chair laughing with her oddball sense of humor.

Hilda at My Manila because her photoblog delivers a fascinating daily dose of Filipino culture and history along with a great photo.

Knoxville Girl at Knoxville Daily Photo because I like her take on things and her way of seeing the world, or at least Knoxville, Tennessee.

Mediterranean Kiwi at One Day in Hania because she tells a great story about life and customs on the Greek island of Crete.

Sperlygirl at Sperlygirl (don't know her name!) because reading her blog makes me slow down and reflect on the simple gifts life offers us.

The rules for the award are as follows:
* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving Blog Friends.
* You must link to the author and name of the blog you received the award from.
* You must display the Award on your blog and link to this post, which explains the Award.
* When you win The Superior Scribbler Award you must visit this post and add your name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, they will be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor. You must post these rules on your blog.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Entrance Hall

I find the entrance halls to Molfettan apartment buildings fascinating. Each one is completely different from the next. Styles range widely in materials, colors and aesthetics. Some are modern, some centuries old, some are lovely, some simply functional, others horrendous. The pseudo-Latin saying "de gustibus" is used in Italian to say, loosely, "there's no accounting for tastes."

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This pastel slice of Molfetta was shot on the corner of Via Gaetano Salvemini and Viale Pio XI. The building on the bottom right is the Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado San Domenico Savio, otherwise known as my older son's junior high school.

Did you notice the cloud sitting on the balcony under the flower boxes?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Window Grate

This grate guards the basement windows of a building on Via Gaetano Salvemini. Gaetano Salvemini was an Italian anti-fascist politician, historian and writer who was born in Molfetta in 1873. Read more about him here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


This little house has seen better days. Talk about your fixer-uppers!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Via Massimo D'Azeglio

This lovely old building is undergoing reconstruction on its ground floor level. I believe it houses some sort of religious institute, but was unable to read the plaque on the wall as it was 90% covered by the "wrappings" they put around buildings here when they are working on them. I'll have to go back and check when the work is done.

Don't hold your breath, things take time to be completed around here...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Venetian Style

This is, in my personal opinion, the most beautiful building in Molfetta. It is located on Corso Umberto I and is rather out of place, surrounded by the more typical modern buildings with their green shutters.

It's not easy to get a good shot of it because the street isn't really wide enough to allow you to stand directly across from the building. This is often a problem around here!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sale Season

Sale season started this year on 3 January. It will last more or less (depending on the whims of the individual shopkeeper) until the end of February. Stores mark down their wares anywhere from 20% to 75%. Controversy always arises around the issue of the TRUE NATURE of these discounts. Every year some merchants are found to have raised the supposed "full price" so as to offer what seems to be a fantastic discount, but, in fact, is not such a great deal.

These photos were taken in the town center. Here I would imagine that merchants are doing their best to offer honest discounts as they are under great duress from the competition created by the large new shopping center on the edge of town. During the past few weeks the traffic around the mall has been so bad that cars are even backed up onto the highway.