Southern Italy has Watchtowers all along the coast line. Watch the video below for the story about these towers:
Title: Italy – Watchtowers in Southern Italy
Countries: Southern Italy
What are Watchtowers? They are towers usually built of stone high enough to be seen by the next tower along the coast. When Saracens (pirates) were spotted, they would light a fire in the tower to warn everyone along the coast. The next tower would see it and light theirs and so on along the entire coastline. You might say this was the Internet of their time. Some towers had a bell as well that was rung to warn locals of the pirates coming.
The locals would gather their families and valuables and head to their sister town usually high up on a hill. These towns were fortified castle like structures that prevented the pirates from entering.
Jo Anne has started a new powerful BLOG. It is called Mezzogiorno Living. The Mezzogiorno was a play on a Latin word, Merides, meaning South. Garibaldi made Mezzogiorno famous in the 18th century.
The link will take you there. Also on my Sidebar (to the right) under Links is a link to it as well. It is under construction but growing each day. This will be the most powerful BLOG on Southern Italy to date. You will be able to find:
and so much more. Her BLOGs will be on living in this beautiful area.
I ask all my readers to go there now and leave her a welcome message. Check her BLOG out each day. She expects to have it up and running fully by December 1st.
Bari, Italy is located in provence of Bari, southern Italy on the Adriatic Sea. It is at the ankle just above the heel of the boot. Bari is 2 Hr and 45 min south-east of Naples. From Bari you can visit many interesting areas:
Alberobello – Is a UNESCO site. The Trulli homes are whitewashed conical shaped homes. This beautiful city is about an hour south of Bari.
Matera – Is the capital of the region of Basilicata. It is located in a small canyon. Homes were built out of the rock on the hillside. It is known as la Città Sotterranea (the subterranean city). The historical center, known as Sassi, is another UNESCO site. Originally built in the Palaeolithic period (The son age – 2.6 million years ago to about 10,000 BC). This is truly a unique place to visit.
Taranto – Inside the heel of the boot. This on the Ionian Sea. Located in region of Apulia. Known for its beaches. Taranto is 1.5 hours south of Bari and about the same from Matera or about 1 hour 10 min from Alberobello.
It is about 3 hours and 30 minutes back to Naples. Or you can continue 4.5 hours south-west to the toe of the boot, Messina. This is where you get the ferry to Sicily.
Europe is experiencing extreme cold weather similar to here in the USA. Temperatures drop drastically and snow fall is heavier than usual. Many people died in this change of weather. Northern Europe is used to cold and snow but even here it is colder and heavier snow than usual. What is really strange is Southern Italy experienced snow fall and cold weather. Sicily had snow and they are almost on the African continent. It seems in Europe frigate Arctic weather is coming down in a southerly direction over the entire continent.
Although Southern Italy had cold and snow it didn’t last long. The mild Mediterranean winds blew in and warmed the land. This is a mild climate usually. You can not go swimming because the sea is very violent in the winter but you can travel around in 60-75 F degree weather.
With these strange weather patterns you have to be ready for any type of weather. Pack something warm. Layer clothes if you get hit by extreme cold. Don’t allow it to ruin your vacation. Just enjoy where you are.
We are getting an arctic blast and so is Europe! Italy has snow in the South. The boot of Italy and Sicily has snow. This is unheard of. Sicily is only about 100 miles from Africa and it has snow. This is as rare as Southern California getting snow. When it happens people take off from work to play in the snow.
This area of Italy is mountainous with narrow roads on mountain cliffs. They really were not designed to be driven in the snow. Did any of my readers go to Italy and see this? Rome can get snow each year but it is usually only a small amount and doesn’t last long. Below is the Coliseum in Rome in the snow.
This rare phenomena is caused by arctic air from the north coming south over the Alps and down the length of the Italian peninsula. Most people don’t like snow except on the ski slopes. This is something to see and experience once. If it gets too cold just stop in the local bar for a coffee, drink or something to eat. Enjoy …
Is winter a good time to go to Italy? It depends on what you want to do! Northern Italy gets snow but if you are a skier this is perfect. Picture yourself in a small hotel at the foot of the alps. You have T-Bars up the mountain and at the end of your day you return to a warm hotel with a blazing fire. Maybe a drink and some warm polenta. Northern Italy is all about snow and skiing.
As we move away from the mountains to Milan we still have winter snows but Christmas time in Milan is beautiful. Christmas lights everywhere, warm people and great food. Don’t forget the Milanese fashion. Milan does everything first class. If you enjoy the character of New York city in the USA, then you will love Milan, Italy.
As you travel south to Rome you can still get cold weather and some occasional snow but again Christmas time is a celebration. We were in Rome in 2011 for New Years Eve and New Years Day celebrations. We got to see the Christmas lights and walk the main streets at midnight (closed to car traffic) and drink champagne under the Christmas lights. At Victor Emanuel (The “birthday cake” building) they set off fireworks at midnight.
Victor Emanuel Building Rome
Proceed farther south into Campania and beyond and winter is mostly in the mountain peaks. They can get an hour snow every so many years but it never lasts long as normal winter temperatures are in the 60’s. It is the rainy season in southern Italy. This can be heavy at times but is usually very tropical. Wherever you go, enjoy yourself and be Italian.
This fascinating hand colored 1814 map by Edinburgh cartographer John Thomson depicts southern Italy ( Naples and Sicily). Covers from Rome south to the island of Sicily. Extraordinarily details with notations on both physical and political features. This map’s magnificent size, beautiful color, and high detail make this one of the finest maps of this region to appear in the early 19th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I prefer non stop flights. We have great flights from Philly to Paris and Rome. Newark is not that far away and gives us many more non stops. When I go to my place in Southern Italy (Campania), I fly to Rome and drive 4 hours. Some people say “Why don’t you fly into Naples?” The problem with stops is you could spend many hours in your connecting city. I have seen flights with as many as 10 hours in the connecting city. I would prefer 4 hours of driving through beautiful and majestic country to 10 hours in an airport held captive!