26-29 May, 2011
I am in historic Brindisi (accent on the first syllable) down in the stiletto heel of the boot of Italy. It is here that the old Roman road, the Appian Way, ended, marked by two columns, one of which was moved to Lecce. After the abortive revolt of slaves led by Spartacus, the Appian Way was at one time lined with 5,000 crucified bodies. It was from Brindisi that many of the Crusaders set sail for the Holy Land, and after the Suez Canal was constructed in the 19th c., here was the start of the mail and passenger service to India. Lord Norwich mentions that many young English women would have passed through here on their way to find English husbands in India (commonly referred to as the Fishing Fleet).
I am staying at the Youth Hostel, some way from the historic centre, but easy to reach via a 5 minute ferry trip for 1 euro, near the Monument to Italian Sailors erected by Mussolini in 1933.
Italian grass-roots politics:
Other things that caught my eye:
On Monday (30 May) I will take the train to Bari and I hope to buy a ferry ticket there to cross the Adriatic Sea to Dubrovnik, Croatia overnight (leave 10pm, arrive 7am) on Wednesday (1 June), the first day of summer!