Castel del Monte to Altamura - Early spring in southern Italy - CycleBlaze

May 14, 2006

Castel del Monte to Altamura

The quiet road to Altamura takes us through a beautiful countryside of rolling hills, again a carpet of wild flowers on either side of the road. We pass no villages, no cafés or restaurants, no gas stations to refill our water bottles, but we see many ruinous, abandoned houses and farms.

On the way to Altamura
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We arrive in the early afternoon. It is Sunday and Altamura has the appearance of a ghost town. Hardly a soul on the streets, hardly a café open for a cup of coffee or a sandwich. We are puzzled to find the town so dead. But we are newcomers to southern Italy. We have no idea that in a few hours the streets will be brimming with life when everyone comes out for the evening stroll.

First the elderly gents appear for their evening walk, all dressed in dark suits, often with a tie, later the families with young children enter the scene, and then the young people in jeans. The promenade goes on for quite a while, until it seems everyone has greeted everyone. Many stop for an ice cream (and nowhere does ice-cream taste as good as in Italy) or a bit of pastry and an espresso.

Afternoon in Altamura
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Courtyard, Altamura
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Today's ride: 30 km (19 miles)
Total: 76 km (47 miles)

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