In the ghetto….

Strictly speaking this is just outside the ghetto but give me some leeway please.

On Sunday we visited the magnificent synagogue.  Once the home to five synagogues inside one building, this now united synagogue is stunning. There is an interesting museum underneath that contains old tapestry cloths and artefacts that are well worth the look. But the glory is the synagogue itself.   Just as we were leaving a wedding was about to begin. The couple… in their 70s.  Renewed love or new love but what a great story!

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Friends Romans countrymen….

Aside from the trip to the Botanical Gardens, we wandered through the City towards Piazza Navone.

Meandering down streets

You see such unexpected beauty  it’s the best part of roaming around Rome

But there are still must sees on the way.  The Pantheon for one..

It had been stormy in the morning but the skies were clearing and the queues growing.  The guards kept us outside while it drizzled then let us in once it stopped….Grazie!

 

We then moved on to Piazza Navona for lunch.

 

Love the Piazza but like all cities it’s a tourist trap too, so go look but don’t stay too long.  The real beauty is hidden around the corners!

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Having said that you can’t miss the Colosseum…..

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Ahhh… the beauty of the Vatican

I will never tire of seeing the wonderous beauty inside the Vatican walls….even if my feet try and tell me otherwise.

We followed advice and booked a tour to avoid the madness of the queues.  It helps as you see the long line of people trying to shade themselves from the heat of the day while moving in snakelike formation across the square.  It doesn’t empty the inside rooms though of the hoards of people. Trump was due a few days later…  I bet he didn’t have to worry about that.  Mind you no one seemed too thrilled he was coming either..I think Michaelangelo would have added a comment or two hidden in one of his paintings for sure!!

Nevertheless if you can try and ignore the crowds and just appreciate the glory,  it is a fantastic experience.

If you are impressed with the exteriors then the interiors will overwhelm……

And there is a stunning rotating sculpture in one of the interior courtyards that caught my eye (and that of a seagull who sat on top for a while slowing turning round taking in the mass of tourists learning about the Sistine Chapel!)

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No photos are allowed inside the Chapel. But it’s truly stunning.

Three hours barely scratches the surface and it’s not my first visit.   What a place!

The aroma of Rome

Rome smells…..  of Jasmine. It’s everywhere. And it’s an amazing aroma. Our hotel has a wall full of it but walking around the scent fills the air

We had a fantastic thunderstorm this morning so the plants have responded…  it cleared up beautifully as the day went on and we wandered around the Botanical Gardens   Through pines, ferns, Japanese, Mediterranean and medicinal sections…lush

 

Polignano a mare e ci vediamo

On the last morning it still wasn’t great weather in Lecce so it was off up to Polignano for a wander and lunch before flying back to the U.K.

It never disappoints…

And so I leave. But September is booked for Lecce and more. And before that Rome and hopefully Sicily.  I’m going quiet for a bit but will be back with my Roman adventures……

ci vediamo 😘

Last night in Lecce

 

The thing about rain in Lecce is that when it happens, the locals stay in doors. The good news about that is that the streets are for the taking.  Empty, but magical.  They seem from a  time long forgotten..

 

Its been such a short trip but yet I’ve continued to visit new places, spoken more Italian, and met great people.

I’m off to Rome in May and back to Puglia later in the year.

i hope you’ll continue to join me on my travels.

Grazie. Ci vediamo.

Knights Templar at Museo Faggiano and other angelic things

Despite the threat of rain, the gods have been kind and it’s been a dry but windy day.  To give my “first time in Lecce friend” a taste of the history here – as if walking around doesn’t demonstrate that enough – we went to Museo Faggiano.  This was someone’s home until renovation work revealed the mysteries below the plaster. Walls from the Middle Ages, signs of the Knights Templar, tombs, silos, underground walkways.  All found here. Tiles embedded in the walls to stop the damp, ceilings made from 600 earthenware jugs to enhance light, and the fleur of the Templar to ward off evil. A jewel of a find.

 

And I always love strolling around

 

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Ceglie and growing old gracefully….

Today is my birthday and I have been royally spoilt. I have gorgeous friends who have sent me lovely messages. Sono fortunata!

Today was a visit to Ceglie.  It’s a small town near Ostuni and also the hometown of one of my work colleagues.  It’s very pretty with a lovely town square, pretty church, small castle and many lanes to wander down

The restaurant that had been recommended to me was fully booked so we had to move on  but not before spotting this

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And being given fruit in the hope of a kiss from Cosmo  – this gorgeous fellow

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To Ostuni for a lovely lunch sitting outside in the sunshine.  Two or so hours later we went for a stroll passing these two fabulous guys.  Now that’s how I want to be when I’m even older …. on a bench, in a park, with a great friend, putting the world to rights.

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