28th Aug: The Baroque

August 28, 2008

P1010015.JPG150 Km driven

Driver state blaze then painful

63 photographs taken

Food excellent lunch

Picture: Plazza Duomo Lecce, Episcopio to the fore, Seminario to the right

Lecce is my mind one of the pearls of the Baroque, that period of rapid and revolutionary change. You can walk across the old down in half an hour, but only if you are a barbarian. Every street and corner provides yet another church, decorated doorway of window which cries out for witness. You have to plan well however, this part of Italy closes down from 1200 to 1500. We ate lunch at the Alex Bar on the via Vito Frazzi which was designed for a more leisurely meal than we had in mind, and probably a better dressed clientele! However we were one of only two tables occupied and enjoyed the meal. However the scampi surprise of a few days before was repeated with an order for Calamari not producing the whole creature, not convenient friend rings! The wine, a 1999 Selvarossa was worth the visit alone.

Aside from the architecture Lecce is full of small interesting shops. I have a glass dish from a previous visit, bought a birthday present on this. A centre for craft and the arts it is one of the great cities of Italy. Nor far away are multiple beach resorts, mostly overdeveloped from my conservative view point. I have never understood how anyone can get pleasure from sitting all day on a beach in regimented rows on deckchairs. Walk the coast, discover a beach, swim and proceed now that I understand. However there are quiet areas in and around the rocks and the cost rewards an exploration on foot or mountain bike rather than the hurried drive we attempted.

This area of Italy is also undeveloped for tourism in a way, it caters to italians not the British or Germans although you will find plenty of them tehre. Even the tourists oriented restaurants o the harbour fronts do not succumb to providing chips (French fries for the US readership) as a standard offering. The foot is local, seafood, pasta and vegetables in the main. Pizza is a Neapolitan dish, here you will only find regional dishes, and this is distinctive region. The local wines suite the climate and the food.

I made the major mistake of forgetting my hat, which with a bald head is a mistake. Despite liberal application of factor 50, by the end of the day I had a deep migraine and retried to the room rather than eat. Driving back was not easy as my head increasingly felt that it was a pressure cooker. Darkness, air condition and copies volumes of water and I was better, but it was a lesson learnt, if with pain.

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