Monday, July 26, 2010
Work has been going great. Some highlights have included gorgeous terracotta tiles with depictions of dolphins found nowhere else in the world, a tiny bone carving to ward away evil spirits, and coins. I only have a few more days of work, and I leave here to head to London on Saturday.
This past Saturday was our day off, so Noon and I went to the beach. The bus leaves at 7:55 am, and takes about an hour, with a few stops in between. The beach, on the Adriatic Sea, is a very typical Italian beach. On the edge, there are some shops, bars, and restaurants. The actual beach is crowded; there is a small strip of public beach, flanked by two large plots of chairs and umbrellas set up in rows for rent. Chris and I set up in the public space, read for a few minutes, and then got in the water. There is a barrier between the rest of the sea and the beach, giving a fairly large but shallow area to swim. I dove for a frisbee Chris had thrown, and landed hard on my shoulder, unaware of the sand bar in the middle. We then swam up to the barrier, and climbed along it to a place marked as safe to jump off.
We spent the rest of the morning in and out of the warm water, had some pizza, and then got back on the bus at 12:30; the only bus that day back. Though the weather was beautiful while we were at the beach, about ten minutes after we got on the bus, the heavens opened up. The lightening was very impressive, as was the hail. We got back, at some pasta that Alex had made, and relaxed for the rest of the day.
Before dinner, Alex and Chris and I walked up to the Cemetery above the town. It is different than any other I've ever seen. Each family has a mausoleum, built like a house; better built that most of the houses in town in fact--they are the eternal resting places. In the mausoleums are an alter and drawers; each with a photo of the deceased on the drawer. The people who don't have money get a drawer on a shared wall of drawers. Walking through the cemetery is like walking through a town, between each mausoleum are streets. Some doors are open, some shut, and they are all very elegant metal and glass.
Tournareccio was a medieval city, and still has a small section of town. After dinner yesterday we took a short walk through it. There are winding streets, many with just steps. There are very old walls, arches, and lots of empty houses. It was very charming; young kids were running through playing tag, and stray dogs were chasing each other too.