Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oct Cruise - Bari, Italy

Our cruise departed Venice at 5:00 pm on a very foggy afternoon.  The haze never completely lifted and seemed even thicker over the water.  Below are some pics taken from our balcony on the ship.  Since it was just us and the 6th grader, we opted for a junior suite on the 8th deck, located at the back of the ship.  I enjoyed the location and size of our stateroom, but really appreciated the excellent price we got since it was mid October.  The only downside was the little bits of black soot that fell on the balcony furniture and had to be cleaned off everyday by our stateroom attendant.  Other than some of the soot falling into my tea glass as I relaxed on a lounge chair one afternoon, it was a great accommodation and I wouldn't hesitate to book a junior suite in the future.

Above and below, you can see a ferry passing behind the ship as we were maneuvered out of our berth by the tugs.

As we were departing Venice, we sailed right past the entrance to the grand canal.  Below is a pic of one of the many vaporetto (water bus/taxi) stands in the city.  It was definitely a unique way to get around.

Our first port of call on the cruise was along the eastern coast of Italy, near the heel of the boot at Bari.  After a quick bus tour of downtown Bari - very quiet since it was Sunday morning - we hit the coast road and traveled south through the Puglia region of Italy to the town of Polignano a Mare.  This town, with its scenic overlooks, is home of the "Volare" singer and is famous for its sea caves, the largest of which has been made into a restaurant.

After listening to the song on the bus ride, we enjoyed a stroll through the old town, including a statue depicting "Volare" singer/songwrite Domenico Modugno.  And gelato - a must when we're traveling with the younger daughter.

In the largest square of the old town, I took the pics below.  

As always, I enjoy the beauty of the religious art, icons and places of worship that we inevitably find in these old European cities (by American standards, anyway) with large Catholic populations.

The pic below is of a small balcony that resembles a jungle... a little too much of a good thing.

Since much of the old town is pedestrian only, our guide was explaining how many of the residents go out of their way to keep it attractive and clean.  This was made quite clear when our group rounded a corner to be met with a strong smell of bleach.  It seems the grandmotherly types who live in that stretch of lovely cobbled streets like to toss out their mop water (which was now beneath our feet) to keep the stones a pristine white.

1 comment:

  1. Italy cruises are a good way of travelling around Italy and exploring the richness of the country. italy cruise tour