Monday, October 01, 2007
Still in PUGLIA: Two days in Trani (BA)
Trani is a wonderful little town north of Bari on the Adriatic Sea. Its cathedral, built in the 12th century, has a stunning perch on the edge of the sea, and is made completely of striking local limestone.
The little town is a web of streets surrounding the port and the Cathedral that's not unlike Siena. I know some travel writers have begun to compare Puglia with Tuscany. I would say if you like Siena, you could easily enjoy a few days in medieval Trani. (To be clear, Siena is not on a port!)
We spent two days in Trani during the second week of our trip, after we left our friends in Ruffano, in Salento. In addition to the Cathedral, there's Castello Svevo which was commissioned by Frederick II in 1230, and was built on Norman ruins.
I have been looking at the photos we took there since we returned to the States, and I cannot decide which one adequately conveys the town's unique aesthetic. So here's a handful of photos: you decide!
Above: The romanesque cathedral, which as you can see, sits beside the sea. The bell tower, whose base accommodates a high arch, dominates the skyline.
Above: Chiesa di Ognissanti, which overlooks the port, and is nestled among a number of cozy bars and restaurants that have an irrestible view of the sea.
Above: A view of the base of the bell tower that adjoins the cathedral, and the piazza just beyond it.
An opera singer unwittingly provided one of the highlights of our time in Trani. We were tooling around the castle on a self-guided tour when we began to hear the strains of lirica! Moving from room to room, we followed the sound until we reached a window through which we could see the singer as she practiced. With our digital camera, Mike zoomed in on her for a photo, and even recorded a bit of her singing!
She sang an aria from the Puccini opera La Bohème and on the rise and fall of the notes, we floated through the castle, or at least I did, almost unhinged by her beautiful voice, and grateful that Italy is Italy. Because this was one of those moments where I thought: Ah...Italy.
I will leave you with her photo; Lord knows her stunning, plaintive voice echoed in my head for days after we left.
A tra poco!