After a tiring, full day's drive from Calabria into Puglia, we arrived at dusk in pretty Otranto. Now on the opposite side of Italy...on the heel of the boot. Yet another lovely coastal town, full of charm & history. Each one is has been quite different. White stone streets, castles, ancient churches & a torquoise harbour. The cathedral had an altar room dedicated to the 800 martyrs beheaded by the Turks and all the skulls were stacked up in glass cabinets. More disturbing though was that they also had the rock that they used for the beheading there too. They are all to be made saints next year. Zoe was fascinated to see what our skeletons look like & full of questions.
The same church had a mosaic of the "tree of life" that made up the entire floor of the church. Thousands & thousands of tiny tiles depicting the journey from "sin to salvation". Incredible.
We has seen something similar but on a much, much larger scale (3500m2!) in Sicily, near Piazza Amerina. Builders excavating uncovered a VERY wealthy home, Villa Romana del Cadale of Marcus Aurelius Maximianus. Built in the 3rd century it had been buried under mud for 700 years. It had intricate mosaics covering the floors of over 20 rooms. What a find! The mosaics were of everything from mythical creatures to ancient olympics!
Between patches of cloudy weather, Zoe & Zac managed to steal what is probably their last swim before the cold weather hits. A good way to work off all the pent up energy from the long car trip the day before.
People are so friendly here & strangers happily stop for a long chat. Zoe & Zac attract no end of smiles which we, and they adore! I loooove any chance to speak Italian now that I am away from school. The poor unsuspectingly locals... they can't escape!