Monday, November 13, 2017
Jinhee leaves for Chile on Sunday, so we are renting a car to see the sights in Southern Italy for the week before she goes. The rental here is not cheap, but much of the cost is insurance. At €300 for the week, we are starting early and plan to take in many sights.
To begin, we wanted to do some Ikea shopping and so drove to Bari. We didn’t have a lot of time but we visited key sites, including the castle,Castello Normanno-Svevo (Norman-Swabian Castle, built 1132). After some of the poorly documented attractions in Taranto, this was a nicely prepared and documented sight. One of the reasons it was open on this day though is because there were three cruise ships in town! One of the fascinating rooms in the castle here displayed a large number of panels (friezes?) from nearby ruins. I wish I studied Latin, but some had amazing detail and craftsmanship.
The Bari Cathedral was quite beautiful, and the Crypt had a preserved corpse on display. Always nice to get up close to the old dead people. We visited a second Duomo/cathedral and it had spectacular ceilings. We tend to appreciate the ceilings in these churches. Some are so spectacular and there are so many I can never remember which is which but this one had a gorgeous ceiling.
You can’t really appreciate how spectacular these rooms are from a picture. Some are so grandiose they are difficult to comprehend, even when you are inside the church.
The weather was clearly turning against us by this point, and we ducked out of the rain and into the Bari Museum and it was so, totally not worth it. Was primarily a display of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter. The whole civic museum had almost nothing to do with Bari, except a bit of WW1 and WW2 military history and a tiny bit of the history of Italy’s takeover of Eritrea. Very disappointed.
We sat out a rainstorm over a coffee and sandwich, then headed to ikea for some household goods for the boat.