Saturday, November 16th, 2013

After leaving Giulianova I had not realized how far it was to Puglia. OMG, it’s at least 4 hours to drive to Fasano where I was to stay with another Servas host. I left at 7:30 in the morning and drove at the speed limit (130 km/hour – about 80 mph) to try to reach the destination by noon. Unfortunately the stupid cigarette lighter USB adapter that I paid 20 euros for ceased to work so I didn’t want to use the navigation of Google maps much because it sucks down the battery. There was really only one hitch – I missed the proper autostrada exit and had to backtrack, losing ½ hour. In any case I reactivated the navigatore (navigator) when I entered Fasano to find the house of Damiano, Maria and the 3 kids Irena (6), Marta (4 ½) and Lorenzo (I think about 2) not to mention that Maria is quite pregnant. They were terrific hosts. They fed me lunch after I arrived and in the early evening I went shopping with Damiano and bought some ingredients for rosotto with radicchio and tomatoes which I prepared for dinner with Damiano, Maria and two friends whose names I promptly forgot. The risotto turned out well although I wasn’t sure how much I needed to fix so the portions were a little small. Fortunately I’d also bought some stuff for antipasto and dessert plus two bottles of wine so it wasn’t a disaster. Damiano is a teacher and, as you might imagine, Maria did not work – pretty difficult with 3 small children. Their house is stand-alone (about the only one that I had stayed in) and had been built along with a bunch of others in a field that was once full of VERY old olive trees. They had one in their backyard. Damiano said that it’s probably, oh, 5 or 6 centuries old.

While I was there I spent one day doing to two nearby towns; Monopoli and Polignano a Mare. Monopoli was quite interesting. It’s an old port town and the area around the port is really the historic center with a lot of narrow crooked streets. I wish I had taken more pictures because it’s hard to describe how narrow and crooked, including right angles and dead ends, the streets are. Take a look at that area with Google Maps if you’re interested. It’s easy to get lost which makes the map function in the iPhone VERY useful.

After that I went on to Polignano a Mare. I parked the car near a piazza and noted a bunch of older guys who had brought out chairs and were sitting around talking. It’s so easy to socialize in Italy. I wish it were so easy in the states. I had seen an article in the New York Times some time back and wanted to see it for myself. There’s an inlet there that is very dramatic. Obviously the water was still quite warm at the end of October because several people were swimming. In walking around I happened upon a statue of Domenico Modugno who wrote and sang the song, “Volare” with which I’m sure everyone is familiar. He was born and grew up in Polignano. Of course I saw the inlet  and I took WAY too many photos because it was so dramatic and beautiful. As you can see, I ate well too.

Did anyone notice the out of orderness?

2 Responses to “Fasano”

  1. Doak Says:

    Wow.. Joe, what a trip! Was the dialect or accent in these southern cities a problem? Also, can you give us all a run down on your over all experience with Servas. A few tips or suggestions would be great.

  2. Joe Says:

    Pazienza Doak. I have more posts in the pipeline. The accent was never a problem and I didn’t run into anyone that didn’t speak Italian. I had that experience in Sicily a couple of years ago but not on this trip.


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