Tuesday, August 30, 2005


The pizzica or the taranta, I think the difference is very minute. These guys were great and the old guy on the left was giving CDs to cute girls that would come up and dance by him. Posted by Picasa

Sunday dinner

Sunday dinner at my place. Look how tan Paola is after just a weekend in Puglia. AHHHH the summer. For the record the plate of red things is peppers and they are not FOR ME!! Posted by Picasa

Quick blog

I’ve been bad at updating the blog lately. The events lately have been slow. The concert Saturday night was so big we didn’t go. When we arrived the little town was packed solid with people so Paola and I decided that Lecce would be nice enough. We found out the next day that 70,000 people were at the concert. Imagine 70,000 invading Bloomington or Athens for a free concert to be held, not in a stadium, but in piazza in town. Remember also that this town was planned out before cars and the need for parking lots. I think they were expecting 40,000. I was just happy I could get back to the highway.
Last night “the thing to do” was a stupid “introduction” of the basketball team. The team went to the semi-finals in Series B. Yes I think that’s the 2nd level of basketball, so the team is like in the minor league of basketball. A big stage and a whole night that was like a really boring pep rally for the team, but the whole town was there. I took one picture of the team on stage just to have some record on the event. I probably won’t post it. There was a popular local celebrity there, which is what brought the crowd out. He said some bull about how great Brindisi was and how we should support the team. Blah, blah, blah…
The most interesting thing was when I saw one of my neighbors from my building there. I found out he is high up in the front office of the team (some type of secretary, but not the typing and filing type, you know what I mean). He was up on stage and I even saw his picture in the paper. I bet he could get me free tickets to the games. His family is the one that has that little rat dog. Luckily they are two floors down so I don’t hear it except on my way out. If lived directly above or below that dog….

Monday, August 22, 2005

Festival Time!!!!!

I just read in the paper that August 27th will be the start of the festival for the patron saints of the town of Brindisi. This is a great time to live where I do. I can walk to all the activities in town and that is so nice because parking is usually crazy at this time. I mean crazier than usual. There will be something going on every night from August 27th until September 5th. There will be free concerts, plays, a boat race, fireworks, parades (lead by the statues of the patron saints) and a big street market. Everything, except the church services will be outside. I love that.
Every town in Italy has at least one patron saint of the town. Brindisi has two. The more important one is San Lorenzo da Brindisi. I’m not sure what he did but the other San Teodoro has an interesting story. He was a captain on a ship during the Crusades. His fleet came under attack in Turkey and he was killed and his boat attempted to return to Brindisi. The crew put his body in a small boat, as they were being attacked and about to sink. The small boat made it’s way back to Brindisi where his remains are still today. Because of this miraculous return, every year as part of the celebration they parade his statue down to the sea where it is taken around the harbor in a parade of boats. Then it returns shore and fireworks are set off.What I should try to do is get a picture of something every night. It’s an ambitious goal. So I’ll make a little report with photo from every night. Also I should try to find out what San Lorenzo da Brindisi did.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Di Montagna!!

When we weren't at the lake we were in the mountains (Alagna in this photo). This area has a house that was built of wood in 1628 and is still in great condition. Posted by Picasa

Ferragosto and a peaceful setting

A picture perfect day on Lago D'Orta. This was our view as ate lunch on August 15th (a national holiday in Italy) on the island in the lake. Posted by Picasa

Lago D'Orta

Your author trying to look cool at Lago D'Orta. Matteo next to me looks mortified. Like the new sunglasses!!! Posted by Picasa

In Ole Napoli....

Paola and I at the Castel Nuovo in Naples. Why am I still carrying "the shopping" around that late? Because we didn't go back to the hotel all day!!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


It’s August and sure enough most of the country is on vacation. I had a little mini vacation. Paola came here to Brindisi for the first time. I think my place impressed her with its rugged manliness. I think if my apartment didn’t “need a woman’s touch” I would be worried. We had a good time hanging out in this little town by the sea. Funny thing is we had horrible weather, of sorts. There is this northerly wind called the “tramontana” (from the mountains) and when this wind kicks up it makes a day at the beach no fun. It cools things down a bit, which is nice but the problem is when it’s blowing so hard it’s difficult to walk and sand is blowing everywhere. So this stupid wind ruined a weekend of beach fun. We had to go inland to Martina Franca. It was really strange to see the beaches around here empty in August but you didn’t dare get out of the car. We did get a little sun on Saturday afternoon but it was nothing like it should have been.
Then after battling the wind we headed to Naples to spend two nights there. Again I noticed how beat up and dirty Naples is but it has such potential that I feel like I’m visiting it before it becomes “discovered”. It has crazy poorer areas that I saw the last time but this time we took the funicolare up on the hill to a great museum and castle that have beautiful views over the city and the greatest thing is how quiet it is. There is even a nice neighborhood up there. Naples is so loud and chaotic that when you get up there it really calms you down. I feel I wasn’t thinking straight in the constant barrage of Naples, but once we got up high it felt so good. Now it’s back to work.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Math time!!!!

Let’s do some math. Yeah on a Monday morning no less!!! This weekend the high temperature both days was 40C. To go from C to F multiply by 1.8 and then add 32. If you do that then you get 104F. UUGGHH! Yes, it was 104F all weekend and in the evening it really doesn’t cool off that much. Yes it’s nice to go to the beach, but it kind of sucks when that is THE ONLY thing you can do AND it’s also the only thing everyone else can do, too. Even then in the middle of the day (between 1-4 PM) it’s so hot that you really don’t want to be at the beach either (I burnt my feet on the hot sand, boo hoo). I would have been toasted a nice red color if I would have stayed out. On the positive side I did some snorkeling and saw something new every time I went out. One of the more impressive things was a huge jellyfish (about 14 inches in diameter) and it had a small light blue fish swimming around the top staying away from the stinging tentacles. One of the strangest things for me was when I saw a guy standing on a rock in a shallow area. I wondered what he was doing and then I noticed he had a fork and a sea urchin. Yes, he worked the sea urchin open and ate it right there, IN the sea. Impressive but this particular beach is a park and you aren’t allowed to do such things. The only thing that makes this beach so good for snorkeling is because it’s a park!!! Idiot. Another time I found this bright violet little fish hiding in a little dark cave. It was like a neon tetra only neon violet in color. I’ve been getting to know the area underwater, like at one beach I’m much more likely to see flounders in the sandy area than at another beach not far away. But I still haven’t seen the red starfish. There is supposed to be a red starfish that haunts these waters and I would really like to see one. I need to buy an underwater camera because I would like to get pictures of some of the animals I’ve seen and if I ever see that red starfish I want to be ready.