Sunday, 30 November 2014
Italy: Monte Sant'Angelo
Monte Sant'Angelo was pretty much the only reason we ended up going to the south. I read an article about it and a number of other places in a travel mag and I was sold - it's got a chapel where the Archangel Michael is supposed to have appeared THREE TIMES so it was bound to have some good sights.
Tutt drove up the hill to get there. I made her stop every so often so I could get pictures of the Adriatic. If you love blue, this is where you should come for every holiday -
Also these made her stop.
They were unconcerned as they clinked across the road; she was not; I pretended to be, although I did panic a bit when one of them loosened a fairly sizable boulder which rolled down the mountain and stopped a mere foot away from the car. By the time we got to the top, we were both in need of a pick me up, so we stopped at a handy bakery for coffee/coke and cakes.
I had some kind of pastry crown thing filled with nuts which was delicious. I also bought a cake to take with me but I can't remember what it was....it was a local speciality. It's not like me to forget a cake. I expect it will come back to me.
After we'd revived, we toddled off into St Michael's Sanctuary, which was many steps down into a cave, into the crevices of which had been afixed various icons and statues important to the Catholic faith. They were very interesting to look at but it was a slightly bizarre display. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it reminded me a bit of the caverns we went down once on holiday in America, where they'd put fake dinosaurs around the place and lit it with bright primary coloured lights. Also there were screaming children which made me feel quite awkward - I mean, there were lots of people praying.
So, afterwards we went over to the Baptistry of San Giovanni in Tumba which had this rose window, which I was quite taken with.
I was unaware that mermaids were connected to Christianity. This was quite a fascinating little shell of a church, which has been built up over time. It had some interesting reliefs carved over the door.
After that, we headed up to the castle. I thought this had been built by the Normans but apparently they only added to it; once up there it was clear to see why that spot was picked, because you could literally see everything for miles around. It was proper spectacular.
Tutt even let me take her picture and she even attempted to look happy, in spite of being dragged to yet another historical landmark.
It would have been nice to spend a little longer there, I think; we only had about an hour and a half before things started shutting for the day. It was very windy and deliciously cool, which was welcome after the slight stuffiness down at sea level. I would have liked to have a bit more thorough inspection of the sanctuary, particularly its octagonal tower, and the town looked like it was worth a bit more exploring than we treated it to.
Just a good excuse to go back, clearly.