We head off to the seaside. Conscious that anticyclone the one eyed Cyclopes is now to end after they, only yesterday, confidently predicted it’s staying power and that rain returns on Saturday.
The route takes us through Cisternino which weirdly has been dubbed Slow Town for tourist purposes using the English word as well. Sleepy maybe or even overpriced but slow ? Only the drivers live up to that moniker. They are by far the slowest in this part of Italy mainly because they all seem to have ancient cars . Slow town since we last drove though there 8 months ago has gone roundabout mad. So rather than lights we now have endless roundabouts which the locals struggle with. Many of them fondly remember the old give way to the right rule and despite give way road markings at each entrance will scream to an halt on the roundabout to give way to traffic entering it from the right. Worse today was the old boy who having missed his turning off the roundabout stopped and reversed his way back around it to make the turn instead of just going around it and exiting the next time.
Once through though it is plain sailing down the hill towards Torre Canne ( Reed Tower). Just south of the town is about 2 miles of sandy beaches divided up into small lidos where you pay to park and if you want pay, for sunshades and bed chairs. If you’re staying two weeks simple maths shows it is worth first hitting the supermarket and buying your own.
The sea was flat calm and looked inviting
but it is still too cold for me but I’m a bit of wimp and like it more like a warm bath before I venture in. A few brave souls were in but I can’t say they seemed to be really enjoying it.
I was amazed at the numbers on the beach for a Tuesday in June. Still if you doubt the huge level of youth unemployment in the South a walk along the beach soon dispels that. Most are boys of about 25 years old sitting in groups . The rest are made up of grandparents with grandchildren by the looks of them .
Then there are the tourists both from the north of Italy and from abroad.
As we sat reading in the sun a group of them arrived and set up camp nearby.
They set about the task of “enjoying a day at the beach” with military precision. I reckoned one of them had clearly written the definitive book on how to take a family to the beach. Buckets and spades were unloaded, umbrellas erected, suncream applied to everyone and water wings blown up, then they split into small groups. The parents started to build the world’s finest sandcastle, the grand parents took the kids to the water’s edge and played ball lest the kids should get in the way of the construction project while great grandfather took a well deserved nap as he was probably paying for the whole holiday anyway. The kids of course wanted to join in the construction work by trampling all over it but were held back while the parents beavered away building walls and towers everywhere.
Then a camera person was appointed who ran around taking thousands of happy snaps of the fabulous day.
Once built the group gathered around the castle for team photos before it was swim time. Like a regiment advancing and fixing bayonnets water wings were donned and the entire family bar the still snoozing old boy went for the “fun” swim. Boy did they work at the fun bit of swimming as well though the three kids didn’t seem that enthused to be fair. But Mum ignored that and splashed and shouted with glee while the photographer snapped away from the beach.
The tide was coming in so there was a little trauma when the kids got out to find the sandcastle almost washed away but little mishaps were not allowed during the ” best day at the beach ” so the snoozing old boy was awoken and took the kids on a constructive walk down the beach pointing out crabs etc.
Two weeks of that would hardly seem like an holiday to me and they must surely need a real rest by the end of it.
Tonight is the last night of the Negroamaro Wine Festival I mentioned yesterday. It has, according to the paper this morning, been the most successful ever but from their description of it it does sound like the beer festivals as it described where you go to buy your wine tickets and your food tickets.
This evening Kool and the Gang are performing in the main square as the top act. This is a group that seems to have been around for ever but unlike say the Stones it is a revolving door of people who are part of the group. No doubt with the success of the festival this will be one of their tunes.
Brindisi apart from being a place also means in Italian a toast so ‘fare un brindisi’ is to make a toast, quite appropriate really for a wine festival.