Posted by: gardner310 | November 21, 2012

Andy Warhol in Otranto, Who Knew?

Otranto, Puglia Seaside

I took the coast road to Otranto and it was equivalent to driving the Amalfi Coast with the winding and narrow roads but the sea was off to my right and I got some breathtaking views.  Unfortunately the road is so narrow you can’t pull over to get a good photo, or any photo.  Memories…

Otranto was the next stop and it is a fortified city on the sea, very important for centuries.  The castello  is in great shape and acts as a museum.  In utter contrast to the fortress, there was an exhibit of Andy Warhol’s “I am a Machine” work.  And the question remains,”Why did I not buy the Campbell’s Soup” painting in the 1970’s?  It would have been a stretch to spend the $100 (yes, you can gag now) but I could have a 6 digit bank account on that print alone.  Hindsight gotta love it.

I shoulda bought one of these!

Otranto’s promenade along the waterfront is wide and well-kept and the beach (rocks) has plenty of large rocks on which to stretch out, which many were doing.  A lot of folks just bring chairs to the pier area and congregate in groups to sun themselves. From families to friends “of a certain age” (mine or older) are enjoying the sea and the sun.   It’s a great way to spend  a few hours watching and in my case, having dinner on a bench.  My rustico and arancini were perfect at 6pm allowing me to skip a heavy meal in the evening.  Cost? All of 3 euros.

Ancient Roman mosaic work in a cathedral, not the unusual themes

The basilica is a heart stopper once you open the door.  The floor is completely done in mosaics.  What is more surprising is that the theme is of a nature worshiping culture in a Catholic church and has just recently been uncovered.  The multicolored marble work holds its own as well but that floor… Wow!

Wandered back through the yet again narrow streets (are there any other kind in these old towns) and bested the crowd at a local pasta shop to grab some tri-colored orchietta, olive oil and tapenade.  I’m doing my best to keep my purchases at a minimum but the food keeps calling to me.  Since I am not flying home from Europe, I figure I can indulge a bit and if we get the wine and cheese parties going, we will eat some of the goodies.

Made it home, got my car parked properly and decided to stay in, work on the photos and sleep.  One out of two?  Tomorrow, Gallipoli and more seacoast.

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