We took a day trip to Gallipoli today, a fortress town on the Ionian Sea. As we boarded the train in Lecce, the originating town, and at the first two stops in Lecce numerous Africans boarded carrying large bags or packs. At the ensuing 8 or so stops along the way to Gallipoli, several would get off the train. Clearly, they were getting off at the various towns to sell their wares.
On the way to the train station we walked by the Italian immigration office where dozens of Africans and Middle Easterners were lined up and gathered. Here we saw first hand what we have read about in the U.S. of the thousands of immigrants fleeing desperate situations at home.
It reminds me once again of the value of travel. It helps us see how incredibly fortunate we are amongst all the people on this planet. It also let me see how the Africans on the train were a community, greeting each other and talking the entire time they were on the train. Too, they were not unhappy as best I could tell.
Countryside is full of stones, stone walls and olive trees
The second revelation of the day is what the difference is to visit a place and to BE in a place. I am not a good tourist. I don’t like going to visit a place, to see the sights and sites. It is too fast, too shallow, even when seeing incredible things. I want to BE there, to know a place, to feel it, to experience it, to live it. And I just can’t do that in a day. It is why our Adventure in Italy trips consist of staying in Orvieto for a week. People traveling with us are there fully, and for me it makes all the difference in the world.
Though a tourist destination Gallipoli is very much a working town, a fishing town.
And it has the feel of the Mediterranean coast town it is.
The Duomo is Baroque on the outside but dominated by paintings inside. It had lots of layers and contrasts to attract my eye.
Happy to be back in Lecce which, having been here for four days now, we are getting to know!!
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