We decide to do a trip inland for a couple of days and since Luka and Andrea are leaving today from Bari, we drive from the Tyrrhenian Sea all the way to the Adriatic Sea, crossing mountains and valleys and winding our way across the rural expanse that makes up the center of this part of Italy. We see fields of wheat, vineyards and other fruit and vegetables. Occasionally we see cows. The landscape is a patchwork of different colors of fields on rolling hills.
Lighting strikes the top of the mountains and we have thunder and sporadic rain. It cools substantially. The smell and look of the wet earth and vegetation pleases the senses.
Bari is a huge industrial and commercial port, and at first, I am not impressed. However, as we make our way down to the old town section on the coast, an amazing array of beautiful buildings appear. They seem to have commercial use on the ground floor and then residential on all the floors above. The buildings have an architectural grandeur about them, and they go on for blocks and blocks. In the old town, there are beautiful churches, theaters, stone paved streets, arches and lovely old buildings crammed onto narrow alley ways. It is a vibrant place, where the locals chat with each other across balconies and enjoy the pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and cars going by. There are little markets selling fruit, cheese and bread everywhere.
Back down on the waterfront, there is a lively and interesting fish market. I watch the fishermen slap the octopuses on the ground time after time, I assume first to kill them, but then maybe to tenderize them. Some of the fish they are selling have just been caught and are flopping around. There are cuttlefish, langoustine, sea urchins, muscles, fish of all kinds, but mostly shallow water fish.
A very interesting city.