Sunday, November 12
With so much to see over the next week, we began trying to visit the places we thought would be the most interesting. I have a preference for ancient history, so that I can better understand the ideas and ideology that is foisted on us every day with modern mass media. There is plenty here in this area, although my understanding is not greatly aided by poorly documented monuments and a vast, vast array of sites.
I am updating this post after being in the area for a week and it is rather astonishing that there are so many remnants of history here and I can’t discern their age and periods of completion. The first and most interesting part is that the ruins in many of the places around here are built on top of the ruins from prior ages.
To that end we Visited the Museo Spartano Taranto – Old and kind of interesting, but really not worth the time unless you are really into it. The museum is simply a wide array of old items from a variety of periods (mostly) poorly arranged and interspersed in some small rooms of the old castle/city. You do get a sense of the age of the place (ruins on top of ruins) here but the tour was in Italian, and the layout was messy and I think poorly done. There is an additional tour of the house upstairs and it is clearly not worth the money we paid, but I can say that because I have seen it now!
While waiting for a castle tour we visited Park Giardini Piripato, which could be nice, but is poorly kept. There is a tiny monument to Ceasar in the park, but it is not clear what it was for, even after looking the park up on the internet, I can’t tell why the monument is there or what it means. Overall, it could be a nice walk, but could use cleaning.
Finally we visited the Castello Arogonese, and this was worth the time and the price (free)! The Navy runs the tours, ours was completely in Italian (he did highlight a few items in English for us), but it was still interesting to hear and see the history. They also had some English notes in the rooms to help guide us.
One of the reasons for coming here was the protection and security of the harbour. Overnight the winds started to come in with fervour, and are expected to be in the 20-25kts range over the next few days. It is a bit of a rough ride at times but this is a safe and protected harbour.