Southern Italy 1

I am posting a few Italy photos this week and a few more next week.  Our tour of southern Italy revealed sites that are not as widely advertised as those in Tuscany and Umbria but are equally intriguing.  One of our first stops was Hadrian’s Villa built in the 2nd century A.D.

 

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Canopus Pool, Hadrian’s Villa

We crossed the peninsula to the Adriatic Sea and the town of Vieste.  Vieste is a quaint medieval fishing village dominated by dramatic white cliffs and a 75 foot tall monolith called Pizzomunno (end of the world).

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Vieste Lighthouse

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Vieste from the sea

Our hotel was just above the round tower in the bottom structure.  We had a view of the alley!  We were taken on a boat ride along the coast to see the magnificent limestone cliffs and many grottos.  Alas, it was too stormy for a grotto beach stop.

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Grotto, Vieste

Pine, Viesta, IT

Limestone Cliff and Pine

From the Adriatic we headed southwest to the town of Albberobello known for its cone shaped dwellings called trulli.  It is thought that these huts made of local stones without mortar were designed to be easily erected and then demolished during the middle ages to avoid paying taxes for being on the king’s land.

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Trulli in Albberobello

A short distance from Albberobello is the town of Matera right about the “ankle” in the boot of southern Italy.  Here, from prehistoric times up until the 1960s, much of the population lived in cave dwellings or sassi, that line both sides of the ravine on which the town is built.  Behind all of the building fronts are caves that go deep into the hillsides.  They were mostly abandoned in the 1960s due to impoverished conditions lacking plumbing, electricity, air circulation, and cohabitation with farm animals.  The inhabitants were moved to the “new” part of town.  Some caves are beginning to be restored, however, including our hotel that had a glorious underground swimming pool.

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Matera from our room

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Sunrise, Matera

In two weeks my friend and fellow photographer Lorraine Healy will offer a guest post on photo projects – don’t miss it!

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