Through Basilicata to the coast, along the Gulf of Taranto, stopping at Capo Spulico to see a Norman fort that someone has bought and converted into a restaurant. Preservationists are still reeling over that one.
On to Metaponto where we stopped for a cappuccino. Somewhat to our surprise, they also have a Parco Archaelogico that had uncovered a Greek city dating back to the early 6th Century BC. Long since plundered by all and sundry, only outlines and pieces remain, mute testimony to the spread of Greek civilisation. Digging and restoration are ongoing. Reggie picked up a shard of incised pottery and showed it to the guide/curator who tsked and confiscated it of course.
We pressed on North past Bari on the Adriatic coast, where Mabel led us through what seemed like a 100,000 acre Olive grove (ranch?) looking for a Dolmen on the way to see a 15 meter tall colossus of a Roman bronze statue. Half an hour of goat trail in the trees and we’d had enough of that for the day. Autostrada north to Severo through mile after mile of olives, then up into the hills to San Giovanni Rotondo and its famous Sanctuario. The town seems oddly new and prosperous after some of the places we’ve been. Looks like the pilgrimage business is doing very well thank you.
Collapsed into a Best Western (easing back into NA culture) and called it a day.
Norman Restaurant on Adriatic
Reggie exploring Metaponto
Partial column base and modified Doric capital from 600BC