Travel Time 3 – To Italy
Moving on with our journey, let’s head off to one of my absolute favourite cities in the whole world.
It’s in Italy and you may have never heard of it. It’s Otranto in Apulia and just a few kilometres away from the south-eastern tip of Italy.
As far as mixing location and history, Otranto really takes the cake for me. Lying right by the sea, Otranto’s gorgeous narrow cobblestone medieval-looking streets, small port, and famous cathedral all host centuries of influences ranging from the Greeks and the Romans, to the Ottomans, the French and of course the Italians.
The city centre itself looks like an enormous fortress built to hold off potential invaders, who have been numerous judging by what we just said.
Its cathedral houses one of the most intriguing and fascinating mosaics and floors I have ever seen. The entire ground floor is covered in one enormous mosaic that tells such diverse and rich stories, both religious and otherwise, that you wouldn’t believe until you’ve seen with your own eyes.
Alexander the Great is there. So is King Arthur. The Roman embodiment of the months of the year. All Zodiac signs. And of course, countless biblical episodes complete this masterpiece.
I haven’t talked much about the local food in my other posts and I know many people love to know more about it. Well I can tell you, that the fish is outstanding – shocking I know. Who would have thought a port city would have good fish or seafood? Fine, you want me to be more specific? I had swordfish. It was perfect. Like Otranto itself.
If my poor attempts at decent photography here don’t convince you of this city’s beauty, all I can say is please give it another chance and check it on your own, it’s a hidden gem!