Wednesday, October 22, 2008


When asked where we planned to visit while in Tuscany and Rome, and we replied Foggia and Castelnuovo, the usual response was, why? Until very recently Apulia (aka, Puglia) has not been a destination for tourists, and even now they are not very many, at least not in Foggia, and no one goes to Italy to visit Castelnuovo. So our arrival, 22 Americanas walking their streets generated a great deal of interest by the local residents. Old ladies stared at us from their balconies and doorsteps; their intense curiosity betrayed by their faces. As soon as Dante introduced himself, Antonio Renzulli’s son, Pasqual’s and Angelina’s brother, their faces would light up with recognition and we were warmly welcomed into the town. We later learned that we were thought to be evangelicals coming to convert them to I don’t know what.

The homes, shops, markets, and everything else in the town is unpretentious, existing to serve only the people of Castelnuovo. This was a refreshing change from everything we experienced in Tuscany and Rome.

Upon reaching the crest of the town from our hotel we were confronted by this arched street which would lead us to the central piazza.

A small park/piazza situated just outside of the arch overlooks the vast Puglia valley below.

The tiered piazza was anchored by the villages ancient church, as well as this one building that obviously needed major external support.

From the piazza we wandered up and down the convoluted streets, stopping from time to time for Dante to talk to the folks we encountered along the way. None of us could understand the animated conversations, but every once in awhile we would hear, “ah...Antonio’s son”, uttered with great delight.

We arrived at the "other side" of town where we took this photo.

Returning to the hotel, the clan slowly gathered in the lounge area and enjoyed some time together, as well as some wine, before sitting down to what would be a memorable meal to end our first day in Castelnuovo.

From the lounge to the dinning room...

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