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 The Beautiful in the sea

What makes Gallipoli and is characterized by the old town, il Centro Storico, a winding and intricate Labyrinth of houses and alleys. It is one with high walls fortified ring road, on a rocky island just off the coast. A bridge connects old town and new town – and, therefore, ancient and modern. The modern part is on the mainland, is one of 20'000 inhabitants, and has nothing remarkable to show for it. The historical Gallipoli, meanwhile, is unmistakable. Who visited it, dives deep into the world of yesterday.

We are in the Salento, the southernmost part of the heel of the emblematic Italian boot. On the West coast of Gallipoli as a cube in the Ionian sea. From the top of one of the countless roof terraces, one looks between forever fluttering Laundry on this tangle of cubic houses and hidden alleys – and, in three directions, to the sea, often with powerful white foam crowns the top. The Whole thing seems very Mediterranean; when the sun leaves the bright house walls flashed, almost African.

the seagulls are circling, screaming loudly on one of the four port basins. A sure sign that the fishing boats from the early morning fishing and the fishermen pluck on the quay their prey from the nets. There is sometimes something for the voracious birds, wings, rush, at the same time beating the competition defensively, for a tempting bite often vertically from the sky.

From the real estate fever is spared

The sea, the determined face and history of this city, dominates the menu. Hardly a menu without Pesce or Frutti di Mare, with no fish or sea creatures. The blend well with any type of Pasta. In addition to the familiar pasta dishes-the Orecchiette con Cima di Rapa are a local specialty, ravioli with stems cabbage – and with everything that offers the sea, with Cozze or Vongole (mussels or clams), Calamari, or Gamberi (squid or shrimp). After two, three days in Gallipoli, a Swiss mountain-and-white to distinguish the genera of playing.

The city has a proud history, and stretching over the centuries. The Name goes back to its Greek origins: Kallipolis meaning "Beautiful city". Everywhere we encounter the characters of transience; Gallipoli is also the island of a Time. At the end of the connecting bridge, the Ponte Città Vecchia, is the majestic castle, today a Museum and gallery. In the smallest room, there are a dozen churches, each one of the other saints. Some of the houses, once magnificent palaces, the former glory guess. Surprisingly few have been renovated, hardly a in Excess; apparently, Gallipoli from elsewhere Grassi's real estate fever is largely spared.

The Locals are still largely Piazza before the Church of Santa Maria del Canneto. Photo: F. Guiziou/Laif

So, too, the inhabitants are mostly simple people. Many of them have somewhere in the narrow streets of a small Fiat or Opel, or at least a Vespa in the courtyard, in Italy is not unusual. Nevertheless, we find ourselves here in the deepest of Yesterday: The streets, the cobblestones, and the Kiosk displays the familiar Tabacchi sign. The greengrocer seems to have with his legendary Ape, the three-wheeled cargo car with the nickname "bee" to be on the move all day; we meet him on our tour of the city several times. On the small sandy beach of Spiaggia la Puritate, under the mighty city walls, swim in the off - season the Locals. And at night, the Faro, the lighthouse flashes on the upstream Isola di Sant'andrea. Italianità every step of the way.

as an aperitif, to meet at the fish market

In this village-unspoilt scenery, you will find a bakery, a butcher and a few Shops where everything is. A meeting place for the early risers among the Galli Polini Caffè Duomo is the Cathedral. Shortly before noon, see you at the Apéro at the fish market, across from the Castello, where the fresh produce for sale is designed and where tourists as well as Locals to a few bites out of the sea like a glass of Prosecco or white wine order.

Here, we get to know Fausto, a distinctive grey head of curls, who works as a waitress even though nearly 70, still temporary in the Pescheria la Lampara. He drove, he tells us, for 50 years every day for fishing. "Those were other times!", he says. In the 60s and 70s of the last century, when tens of thousands from the province of Lecce to the North, emigrated, working in Germany, France or Switzerland are looking for, whether it be in Gallipoli pretty quiet. "Many houses were left uninhabited and fell, and our beautiful castle was boarded up and locked," he says. Only decades later, the tourists from the North have discovered the special charm of the city. Even today, in the months of July and August, when thousands of visitors clogged the narrow streets, loud and noisy – he does not want to complain about it, because many of the Locals came to the end of the Rest of the year from your earnings in the high season.

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fish and seafood, which determine in Gallipoli largely the life, to dominate day-to-day work of Fausto. First he worked on a Four-man boats, then, he went out alone – "because I had a good nose and always knew where to find the best fish". Today, he is the Pescheria, the crack with the knife oysters and sea urchins, the shells, shows the most beautiful fish in his display case, has their particular taste quality, and characterized them with malicious joke. The many-armed cuttlefish reminded him of the politician, he says, "quelli di Roma, quelli del governo" (those of Rome, those of the government), which, as we know all, "always take and give nothing". The noble Orata meanwhile, in the case of us, under the name of sea bream known, resembles for him the most elegant summer guests from the North. At the spiky sea urchins, however, he had to think of his wife.

At this point, his colleague interjects, Luigi, listening, amused by our conversation: "Now tell me, dude: how many years have you been married?" All around, laughter and a lot of consistent "Salute!" – "Cheers!".

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 16.03.2019, 17:11 PM

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