For you the loyal reader I went out of my way to make my Sunday interesting. After a late Saturday night of partying I finally got up and had a coffee. I then pulled out the bike, checked the tires, and then off for ride. I like to take an afternoon bike ride every so often. By 2:00 PM almost all Italians are at the table for lunch so I can have the streets all to myself (if I’m not eating a big lunch with them). I always head north out of town along the sea, as that’s the most scenic route. I start by going past an area where several huge new palazzos (or apartment buildings) about 10 stories tall have been made until I reach a small bridge that goes over a creek where it enters the sea. It was near this bridge that Andrea found Mara swimming for her life and rescued her. At this point I’m only a few feet above sea level and at the very end of a finger of the sea that juts inland. Brindisi is best natural port in the Mediterranean. It has a small opening to the open sea that turns into large harbor with two fingers of the sea that jut inland. They say it looks like the horns of a deer from the air so a deer’s head is in the crest of the city.
From here it’s all uphill for a long time. I’m still along the sea as I climb the slope and on the side of cove closest to me there are docks with many sailboats of all sizes and on the other side sits a castle built by Fredrick II in the 1200s still being used by the Italian Navy with one or two gray military ships. I know I’m out of town when I reach a stretch of road with two high stone walls on either side. The road then slopes down below ground level until it reaches a tunnel! The only tunnel within an hour of here and it’s one-lane so it has a traffic light that says whose turns it is. This strange short tunnel goes under the runway of the airport, which ends very close to the sea! The stone walls guard the airport which is also still used by the military. From here I go through another small area of houses and Veterinary’s office for Nello and Mara. At the edge of these houses is the first stop, porto turistico. This is a huge concrete structure that stretches out for about 2 km into the sea and serves as a new and improved line of protection for the natural port. It also protects a castle built by the Aragonese in the 1500’s at the very edge of the natural port (again this castle too is still being used by the Navy!). A third benefit is it gives a lot of guys a place to spend the day “drowning worms” as we say in the Midwest. I continue on north until I come to the first beach! Now the houses end and there is nothing between the road and the sea. At “granchio rosso” I decide I better head back but first I try a couple of artistic photos with the boats there. I get back just as the cars are returning to the streets and people are getting ready to for the evening passeggiata. Me, I need a shower and nap!
Small Beach near Brindisi
More boats in the middle of nowhere. Also the sea is very calm in these photos.
Time to turn around!