We had our siesta – which included the last hour of today’s Tour de France.
Then the streets of Trani. What is it about this place that makes it special?
We had to re-park the car. Fredrica told us we had to ‘be gone’ by 7pm when the area in front of the port becames ‘for the people.’ I love this. It’s all about people enjoying themselves. But what people? It’s seems no one is here. It’s so quiet.
So we drove through the the quiet streets just before 5. The unofficial end of siesta. We found a carpark. We hope we don’t get towed.
Then it was our own form of passeggiata. Through the local gardens. Oh what a feeling. I love gardens in any place and these are so special by the sea. I’m really a sea person I’ve decided.
We walked, we talked. The afternoon light was romantic.
We walked through the quiet streets as they woke up. People on bikes, people talking and gesticulating as Italians do with their hands
Eventually we reached the Cathedral. The dramatic seafront cathedral is dedicated to St Nicholas the Pilgrim, famous for being foolish. The Greek Christian wandered through Puglia, crying ‘Kyrie eleison’ (Greek for ‘Lord, have mercy’). They thought he was a simpleton, but eventually he was revered after his death (aged 19) after several miracles attributed to him occurred.
Well poor Nicholas chose a fine place. It’s simple, it’s moving, it was startling in the afternoon sun. I had to sit inside to recover.
The streets back to the port were quiet with just a few children out kicking soccer balls.
Then we hit the fish markets along the front of the port. Chaos! Cat calling. Every few metres there was a table with plastic bins filled with little fish. Fishermen trying to sell their fish. Not big ones. Are the waters overfished?
The men and boys were calling out their catches. Others were repairing nets. It reminds me that this is still a fishing port.
Feeling just a little tired we stopped at one of the many bars along the port front. Naturally, an Aperol Spritz for me and a large beer for Steve. We relaxed and watched. Probably my favourite activity.
Then the Opera started.
A large group arrived at the bar next door. A group of happy, though sadly, disabled adults and their carers. They settled into the cafe and gelato started to appear. They were singing and clapping and showing us all how to be delighted by the simple act of sharing a gelato.
Then one of the fish mongers came along pulling his cart. You could tell he was keen to get home. As he turned into the little street next to our bar he came upon a motorbike, parked so he couldn’t move forward. He called to us? Vostra ? No. Not ours. He called loudly. His friend arrived. They both called loudly to the people around.
I knew who had been so inconsiderate. I’d seen him park. I searched for him in the crowd. Mr white linen shirt!
Finally, they I found him. Instead of telling him off or rudely swearing. They thanked him. Drama over.
I love these Italians. All drama. Then it’s over.
I saw a man earlier today, wearing a t shirt I loved and I just had to ask permission to take his photo. This to me says it all.
Our afternoon became evening and we went to a restaurant recommended by Fredrica. Naturally it served fish! So we chatted to the waiter. No English from him, so I was tested! But we managed to order whole fish, grilled for me and Pugliese style for Steve. And a lovely local white.
Our waiter taught me a new word. Instead of ‘Lei’ when referring to a woman – in this area they are called Etta! (that’s the name of the wine he suggested we try.) I hope that’s right! I believed him.
Hope I didn’t learn a new swear word.
Now I’m sitting on our little balcony overlooking the not so quiet street below. It’s 12.34 am! And the action is still happening! Hope this little video works. Look for the Cathedral at the end.
Good night from Trani.