Friday, July 31, 2009

Art Exhibit

"Mimmo Rotella - Artypo 1966-1975" is an exhibit currently being shown in Molfetta's Hospital of the Crusaders. As interesting as Rotella's work may be, I can't help but feel that the building itself outshines any exhibit held in it.

The "hospital" was built next to the Basilica of the Madonna dei Martiri in 1095 and is not thought to have actually been a hospital, but a sort of guest house for pilgrims returning from the crusades to the Holy Land. A place where they could rest and recover, both physically and mentally.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


A detail of Molfetta's Duomo by night. For other views of the Duomo and historical information, click here, here and here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Personal Weather Station

There are many hobbies a person can become passionate about: sports, crafts, gardening or...the weather! This weather station is set up on the balcony of a home in the very center of Molfetta. It measures air temperature, wind strength and direction, high or low pressure, name it. No more sticking your head out the window to see how to get dressed in the morning. With this machine, you'll be prepared for every variation in the weather!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Southern Italian Wedding, 5

Just one last look at the star of the show: the bride. Isn't she lovely?

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Southern Italian Wedding, 4

Food and eating are an important part of everyday life and any social gathering in southern Italy. At a wedding reception, the meal becomes the central event that all other activities revolve around.

The bride and groom were very concerned about accomodating all of their guests' particular food needs, so several different variations on the menu were provided. There was a children's menu for the kids, cooked mollusks for those who don't eat raw mollusks (a delicacy here), special dishes for the diabetics, and, since I am intolerant to gluten and lactose, a special meal for me. The headwaiter introduced himself immediately and told (ordered!) me not to eat anything that had not been served to me directly from his hands!

When I saw Mario, the man in today's photo, making mozzarella from scratch I had to go meet him and take his photo. He assured me that I could eat his cheese because he cooked it at 90° celcius which, apparently, destroys the lactose. When it was ready, he personally brought me the first dish of tiny knots of exquisitely delicious - and fresh - mozzarella. Unfortunately, my personal waiter saw me eating it and threw a fit...he went directly over to Mario and scolded him! It was like having a food bodyguard...ready to fight for my digestive system!

In the end, we got the misunderstanding worked out. But, my waiter remained ever-vigilant...all the way up to the cutting of the cake, when he brought me my own special slice of no-gluten, no-lactose cake!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Southern Italian Wedding, 3

Dressing to the nines is the rule at your southern Italian wedding...
High heels and elegant dresses for the women; suits and ties for the men...despite the fact that it was 115° in the shade and air-conditioning is merely a dream for the most part around here.

At least some people were cooler than others...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Southern Italian Wedding, 2

One of the rare moments during the day when the cameras were not pointed directly at the bride and groom! There were two official photographers and one video guy recording every single moment of the big day.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Southern Italian Wedding

Yesterday I spent the day at the wedding of two dear friends. And when I say "I spent the day," I mean *all* day. The ceremony in church started at 11 a.m. and ended around 1 p.m. The wedding party then moved to La Perla del Doge (click on the name for more photos and info), a wedding reception hall on the sea.

The aperitifs began at 1:30 on the roof terrace and continued until about 3 p.m. We then all moved down into a different room where appetizers were served. Three first courses (pasta, rice, etc.) were served, then lobster, followed by sorbet, then two meat courses. All of this eating was broken up by dancing and various photo opportunities.

Just when everyone felt they could eat no more...we were guided down to another terrace, this time on the sea, where the wedding cake, a dessert buffet, after-dinner drinks and cigars were served. During this phase, we were entertained by the bride and groom arriving "by sea" on an elaborately decorated rowboat and, later, fireworks. Then more dancing.

The party was still in full swing at 11 p.m. when my family and I left...exhausted!

p.s. Yesterday was the first anniversary of Molfetta Daily Photo! I just realised now!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Gommalandia is a popular children's summer birthday party site. There are about 5 of these inflatable slides, a "swimming pool" of plastic balls to dive into, a jungle gym in the form of a castle, mini Flintstone-style cars to ride around in...a little kid's heaven!

In a perfect world, there would be an adult-sized one for me to play in!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Porticciolo di Giovinazzo

Another nice summer evening stroll is through the historic center of nearby Giovinazzo (6K south of Molfetta). The old town, "porticciolo" (small harbour) and seafront promenade are dotted with restaurants, pizzerias, bars and ice-cream shops.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cathedral in Ruvo

The town of Ruvo di Puglia has a lovely Romanesque cathedral which dates back to the 12th century. It was built on top of the remains of an older church. Excavations under the church have also uncovered urban remains dating back to the Roman era.

The bell tower is separate from the cathedral and dates back to the 10th century. It is thought to have originally been a watchtower.

It's nice to make the short drive inland to Ruvo on a hot summer's evening and take a walk through the quiet streets of the historic center. Ruvo sits on a slight rise, 260 m above sea level, and the air is always several degrees cooler than in Molfetta.

For detail photos of the cathedral and more information in English, click here, in Italian, click here.

(These are cell-phone photos, so the quality is not the best...)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunset over the Port

A red summer sunset over the port, including a view of the lighthouse to the right, the cranes being used to build the new commercial harbour in the center, the very small and distant outline of the Madonna dei Martiri church to the left, just in front of the church are a rowing team practicing for the ongoing 2009 Trofeo dell'Adriatico (Molfetta is currently in 3rd place), and, in the foreground there is one of the large stone posts that boats tie onto when docked in the port.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Abbracci - The Exhibit

The centerpiece of the art exhibit by Gaetano Grillo was the title sculpture, "Abbracci." The shell of two human forms is painted gold on one side...

...and covered with various signs and symbols on the other side. The use of only beige on beige writing with white outlines is somewhat new for Grillo, who has often used bright primary or pastel colors.

Molfettan Faces - Gaetano Grillo

The inauguration of the most recent exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Gaetano Grillo, a Molfettan artist, was held Thursday evening at Lorusso Arredamenti in Andria. The exhibit is entitled Abbracci, which means "Embraces" in Italian.

Grillo works a great deal with techniques of collage and what is called "contaminazione" in Italian. Rather than having the negative connotations that the word "contamination" has in English, this artistic concept refers to a fusion of art forms, cultures, languages, etc.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Palazzo Nesta - Madonna and Child

As promised, a close-up shot of the Madonna and Child carved in stone above the main entryway to Palazzo Nesta. Many noblemen's palazzi have the family crest above the doorway, while some have a rendering of the Madonna, perhaps in a sign of piety.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Palazzo Nesta

Palazzo Nesta was originally built in 1560 by the Nesta family of noblemen. It maintains traces of its late-Renaissance style facade. The walls of the facade are a bugnato, which was a popular style at the time. Bugnato means that the stones are not flat, but raised, in this case in the form of a pyramid, as can be seen in the bottom right corner of the photo. This building is located on Via Morte in the old town.

For more information about the Nesta family and their palazzo, click here (the info. is in Italian).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gelateria San Marco

The San Marco Gelateria has some of the best ice-cream in Molfetta. I think it is THE best, but personal taste and opinion are crucial in evaluating such an important food group and everyone has their own opinion about the quality of ice-cream in the various establishments around town.

San Marco underwent a major change in look recently, but it still offers delicious, home-made gelato in the same location, next to the Regional Seminary, as always.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sereno Variabile, 2

Here are some more shots from my day with the Rai film crew. Above two real fishermen and two volunteers from the crowd are pulling in the nets. There were exactly NO fish in the nets, which, as one of the fishermen pointed out, is something that can happen...
Here I am (on the right) with my lovely friend, Katia, and Osvaldo Bevilacqua, who was very patient and kind. Not at all what you might expect from a TV personality.

Here's a view of one of the chefs cooking down below decks. This shrimp was cooked with fresh tomatoes, parsley, garlic and oil...and was delicious! The chef, Angelo Tavella, the owner of a local restaurant called Dentro le Mura, said the secret was in the fact that the shrimp were very fresh. They had just been caught the night before, by the fishermen of this boat.
Here we are enjoying various types of pasta with fish, with the wind blowing through our hair. I have no idea what I was pointing at!
And one more photo, posing with the camera crew. A friendly and patient group of guys!

My thanks to Leonardo Albanese, a young journalist for the Molfetta Live site (see my sidebar) who kindly took all of today's photos for me. My camera batteries died after the first few photos in the fish market...wouldn't you know it!

Anyone who would like to watch the show can tune into Sereno Variabile on Rai 2 on August 1 at 1:30 p.m. and see Molfetta and the surrounding areas.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sereno Variabile

The other day I had the pleasure of spending the morning with the Rai film crew who were in the area north of Bari filming for a TV program called "Sereno Variabile." The man in white in the center of the photo is Osvaldo Bevilacqua. He has been presenting this travel and tourism show for the past 30 years.

I had heard that the TV crew would be filming in Molfetta and went along just to get a photo of our town's 15 minutes of fame...and somehow found myself swept up into the whole event. We started out in the fish market (you can see my photos of the market here, here and here). Then we were loaded onto a commercial fishing boat and spent the morning out in the sea being interviewed by Osvaldo, eating various types of pasta (accompanied by both red and white wines) prepared by chefs brought along specifically to feed us, singing karaoke, chatting with the cameramen and generally having a great time!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 9

This is clearly not a photo of mine, but a reproduction of the website for Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto, the children's theater festival that has been going on for the past 10 days here in Molfetta. Last night was the final evening of the festival and awards were presented. The 25 children who acted as the event judges elected Hansel and Gretel as the Best Show and the audience chose the actress who played Icaro as Best Actor.

After 10 days of going to the theater every night, we're not quite sure what to do with ourselves this evening...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 8

On Friday evening the Accademia Perduta Romagna Teatri (of Ravenna) performed The Magic Piper, the last show of the week before the awards ceremony at which the "Uccellino Azzuro" award for Best Performance will be presented.

Last night the children judges had to make their final evaluations of the week's shows and draw their final conclusions. Tonight the winner will be announced!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 7

"Il Volo di Icaro," performed by Tib Teatro (of Belluno), tells the Greek myth of the flight of Icarus and his relationship with his father Daedalus, inventor of the labyrinth designed to imprison the Minotaur, monstrous son of King Minos of Crete.

I wasn't that crazy about this show, but this is about the time during the Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto festival when going to the theater every single night starts getting to be a bit tiring...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 6

"L'omino del pane e l'omino della mela" (The Little Bread Man and the Little Apple Man) is the title of the show put on Wednesday night by Quelli di Grock (from Milano) in the Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto Children's Theater Festival.

This show was based on physical humor, with lots of gags and slapstick. The two actors moved as if they were made of rubberbands!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 5

Tuesday evening's show in the Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto Children's Theater Festival was Hansel and Gretel, as interpreted by the Teatro Crest theater company from Taranto.

This version of the fairy tale was frightening at times, funny at others. One actress played the children's mother, the beautiful woman who lures the children into her marzipan house and the evil witch who wants to eat was amazing how she transformed herself in an instant from one character to the next.

I also loved the show's theme music...Video Killed the Radio Star, by the Buggles (1979)!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 4

The Monday evening performance in the Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto Children's Film Festival was "Mignolina," better known as "Thumbelina" in English. It was performed by the Drammatico Vegetale Theatre Company of Ravenna.

This photo is not my creation. It was donated because, woe is me, my camera is on the blink. I need to take it in to the camera shop for repairs. It is not a great camera anyway, but at least it worked...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 3

Last night was the first evening of the official performances in the Children's Theater Festival "Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto." The Teatro Verde group, from Rome, performed "La Scarpetta di Cristallo Ovvero Cenerentola." It was a humorous twist on the classic story of Cinderella, told from the various points of view of the characters in the story, but principally from the point of view of the glass slipper.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Via Sant'Orsola, 18

It may not look like much, but I spent 11 years of my life living behind this stone wall and lancet arch on Via Sant'Orsola. My husband did a beautiful job of creating our home in what was once a 14th century Benedictine monastery. Sounds grand, I know, but our home was basically formed of three large rooms and a loft.

Behind this arched gateway lies the only true "courtyard" in Molfetta's old town, with a beautiful stone stairway. I should show you a picture of the courtyard, but I don't really want to go back in there because I know it will be different from when we lived there. This was my first home as a newlywed, my two sons were born and lived the first years of their lives here...there are so many memories and I would like to remember the place as it was when it was ours.

So, why did we move away? Well, as glamorous and romantic as living in a piece of history may was damp and moldy! I developed a nasty allergy to mold while living there. I had repeated bouts of pneumonia and even ended up in the hospital. So, I told my husband that as beautiful as the house was...I was not willing to die for it!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Children's Theater Festival, 2

Last night's headlining event in the "Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto" Children's Theater Festival was "The Pillow Fight," led by the Compagnia il Melarancio (from Cuneo), but performed by everyone present. 654 soft beanbag type pillows were dropped down onto the audience from above and the fight was on! Hundreds of men, women and children went wild throwing pillows around. It was a lot of fun!
Claudio, one of the festival helpers, kindly agreed to model the official festival t-shirt.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Children's Theater Festival

The 14th edition of Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto, an annual children's theater festival, began last night. Theater groups from around the world participate and the main performance yesterday was by an amazing Russian group called Mini-Dlin Marionettes (click on the name to go to their exhaustive and fascinating website). These marionettes are hand-made by the group members and are incredibly expressive!
The festival begins with three days of free performances in the streets and squares around town. Yesterday there were shows by an Italian group, an Argentinian performer and the Russians.

There will then be six days of performances held in an outdoor amphitheater. These shows are judged by elementary and jr. high school age children and an award is presented to the best group on the last day of the festival.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Courtyard 2

This is another courtyard/entryway in Molfetta Vecchia. It is less ornate than the last one I showed you, but still has its charm and dates back to the 16th century.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monthly Theme Day: Empty

"Unless your heart, your soul, and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty, and each action will be meaningless. Truth and confidence are the roots of happiness." (Kathleen Pedersen)

Today is Theme Day in the City Daily Photo community. Our theme this month is "Empty." Click here to view thumbnails for all participants