|Janet Strayer photo, from Gallipoli|
It was a beautifully clear, cold day when we arrived. You can see the kind of day it was in this photo, taken upon our arrival in Gallipoli. Yes, flowers in the cold but clear sun of February!
|Janet Strayer photo|
Right at its pier is Gallipoli's castle-fortress, built when it was a rich cross-route for sea-faring merchants... and also a prime spot for invasions. Gallipoli now, in this winter and non-tourist season, is a very quiet fishing village. It's quite lovely, all in white and tucked into its harbor, with its looming 13th C. castle at the shoreline.
|castle-fortress at Gallipoli, Puglia/Italy (Janet Strayer photos)|
|Gallipoli, Janet Strayer photo|
We walked up the castle steps from the pier to the old city. A pretty white maze of winding, narrow streets that we followed up a bit, then back down to the walkway just above the sea.
Without all the buzz of the tourist industry, it's easy to see how much of a simple fishing village Gallipoli remains. Although it shares in the monumental churches and castle-fortresses of many historic, coastal towns in southern Italy, what I noticed most was the activity of fishers on its pier. They were straightening out their differently colored nets. You can see many piles of nets along the jetties.
|Gallipoli, photos Janet Strayer|
Sandal sculpture (MARTA museum, Taranta; Janet Strayer photo)
And lastly today, a visit to Leuca, (Santa Maria Leuca), at the very bottom of Italy's southern heel. I've drawn the large black dot at the red tip of Italy's boot-heel to show the approximate location of Leuca.
|Leuca shown as black dot on southern tip of Italy's heel (Janet Strayer)|
As often occurs. the current sanctuary is built atop former structures dedicated to other beliefs. In this case, a temple of Hera/Minerva may have stood in more ancient times. Then, as now, it reportedly could be seen by distant seafarers.
|view from sanctuary atop Leuca, Janet Strayer photo|
And here we sit on a sunny, cold afternoon, enjoying a simple caffé after walking around this 'tap' upon the lower tip of Italy's heel. And feeling on top of the world.