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Published: October 5th 2016
Sundown By the sea
Dianne really likes sundown pictures.
After three consecutive stays in large cities (Copenhagen, Milan and Rome) it was nice to get back to a seaside city (OK, Copenhagen is by the sea but we didn't see much of it). Trani is also a lot smaller at only about 50,000. It is also the site of my first “epic failure” of “Google Maps”. I had mapped out the route from the train station to the B&B and it looked pretty weird. I should have been suspicious. After a few false starts we realized it had us coming out of the station on the wrong side and making a very roundabout walk to the B&B. The city map posted outside the station cleared up the difficulty and it was easy to find our destination.
The B&B was on the second floor (most North Americans would call it the third floor) and our room was one floor up inside the B&B. But it was worth it as we were steps from the roof top terrace that was very peaceful. Our hostess was delightful and gave us lots of useful info about the old city. Our first order of business was to find some food
Trani train station
Statue of St Francis of Assisi in the fountain in front of the station. St Francis is a big favourite in this neck of the woods.
and wine so off we went. Even with a map we had an interesting time navigating the twists and turns standard in an old city. I keep telling myself it is one of the charms of staying there.
After many mistakes, we finally found the place we were looking for but, as is standard between 1 and 5 pm, it was closed. As it was about 4:45 we decided we could probably wait until it was open. As we stood there examining the orario di aperura
two young fellows came up and one said he was the owner and opened the store early just for us. He had us sample a couple of wines and we bought some wine, limoncello and snacks typical to Puglia. What a nice intro to the town. Breakfast
We knew the breakfast portion of the B&B was “across the street” but had no idea what that meant. Turned out it was at a little bar that served all kinds of coffees, drinks and pastries. Our hostess told us we could have as much as we wanted. Easy to say, harder to do. The first day we were asked questions that we had
Bright room. Very pleasant.
no idea how to answer. As time passed, we gradually figured out the routine which included ordering and going outside to sit at the tables nearby. “Breakfast” was served to us in the shade where we got a good chance to people watch as we ate.
We got a little carried away one day. We each ended up with cappuccinos, orange juice and three pastries (see pictures). A trifle embarrassing; we managed to secrete one each in our packs for later coffee. Another day we got to watch some workmen setting up what we assumed were outdoor Christmas decorations. Always something going on. Groceries
Since we couldn’t find the Supermarcati
we asked our hostess for help. She immediately dropped everything and took us down the stairs, outside the building, around the corner and right to the door of a small store. Great service at this B&B. In we went and asked the standard question: Parla Englese?
Fortunately, nobody could so we were forced to try our Italian. We managed to buy some meat, cheese, buns and water for our picnic lunch. But then I realized I had left my wallet back in the room. Leaving Dianne as
Half the terrace
Just steps from our room, we enjoyed chatting there with our Belgian neighbours especially when our hostess brought out a bottle of limoncello.
collateral, I raced back to get it. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense. The chap behind the meat and cheese counter had been particularly helpful, giving us samples of cheese to help us decide what to buy. He was very amused.
We shopped there several times and always had a good time. You wouldn’t think buying a bottle of water was funny but we definitely had a good time watching Dianne try to open the cooler. They probably won’t forget us for a while. Neighbours
This was our first "regular" B&B on this trip. One of the differences between a B&B and an AirBnB apartment is that in a B&B you can have other guests staying there with you. In this case, it was a retired couple from Belgium who had a car. After a few initial Buon Giornos
in the hall, we ran into them on our first passagiata.
We chatted for a while and they mentioned they were driving up to Castel del Monte and asked if we would like to go with them. This is one place I wanted to see but it is very difficult to reach with public transportation.
It always amazed me to see how they could adapt these old buildings to add elevators. We only used it for luggage.
The Castel is fascinating, partly because no one is sure why Frederick II built it. It’s quite a structure but I am glad we were able to drive there. It probably wouldn’t have been worth spending the rest of the day travelling back and forth by bus. With our generous host couple we got to see lots of countryside and another couple of towns too. We stopped in another little town to view the cathedrale
but (of course) it was closed for the afternoon. And so were most of the restaurants. After a few false starts, we found one that offered a lunch involving three “tasting” antipasti, a main course and wine. It was served on an outside deck in the shade and was very pleasant. Our waiter was very funny which increased our enjoyment.
A second stop in Barletta was terminated by a sudden rain storm, one of the few we have had on this trip. Walkabout
The old city in Trani is very pleasant to walk around. One especially nice walk along the waterfront took us over an hour to get to a point where there was an old monastery (closed) and, would you believe,
Dianne likes them as much as she likes sunset pictures.
a cappuccino bar. The bar was a kiosk style in the middle of nowhere as far as we could see although in the summer a lot of swimmers would come up from the beach.
On one of our walks we discovered a “new” church. It looked to us like it had been built in the 1980s. It was pretty dim when we were viewing it but a nice older lady who, presumably, was associated with the church turned on the lights for us. Despite having no English, she managed to take us into some back rooms and show us some really interesting religious articles, some of them being "antico". She was very obviously proud of them. I mentioned to her that “la Chiesa è nuova
” (I hoped that meant the church is new) but her body language said no, it was old and I think she was trying to tell me it was 70 years old which we felt was impossible. So I said “La cathedrale è vechia, la Chiesa è nuova
” She laughed and appeared to understand this foreign tourist’s attempt at humour. Arrivaderci, Trani
After four very pleasant days it was time to move
Partly sea wall, partly defense wall.
We said goodbye to our wonderful hostess, Sylvia, and to our new friends at the coffee shop and grocery store with everyone thinking that Lecce was a good choice for our next stop. To Be Continued
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