Monopoli’s port is opening up before me to the sunset as the boat sails retires and starts the engine to continue slow navigation between the fishing boats, looking for a space along the quayside.
The sun is setting fast in the hills of Valle d’Itria behind the small white village.
They go down quickly from sailing sgranchendomi legs happy to touch land again after nearly four hours of sailing. They are curious and eager to stroll the streets of Monopoly, I want to hurry and enjoy the sightseeing while there is still a bit ‘of sun to light homes.
Too late, unfortunately, the darkness of night comes relentless and I can not help but imagine the white houses and the sunlight is reflected on them. The lime painted walls are so immaculate that still seem to emanate an aura of clarity, as if they stored the light of day to release it slowly during the darkest hours.
Walk with the buildings on my right and the dark sea on my left did not see it but I perceive the salty smell and the sound of the waves frizz. Monopoly is so quiet at night, so quiet in this late summer night.
The Church of the Brethren attracts the gaze of passers-by with its bas-relief decorations representing skeletons, bones and death sentences, but more disturbing are the mummified bodies of the members of the brotherhood on display in showcases transparent. Maybe it’s all because of this moonlight distorting shadows and creates strange play of light.
I let the silence of the road to shelter in the silence of another church, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Madia. You would not say never from the outside that this is one of the most beautiful baroque churches of the entire Puglia, but that just stick your foot in to be dazzled by the red and green marble covering the floors, columns and walls. Above the altar is a painting of the Madonna and child, found in the sea along with the sacred beams that were used to build the church. The legend of this sacred icon found in the waters of the Adriatic me brings to mind another similar legend told hundreds of kilometers away.
The next day I wake up at dawn lulled by the rocking of the boat sailing. Rub my eyes swollen with sleep and crane my neck outside leaving me wake up from the morning fresh. At the port, the situation is quieter than expected: I thought to meet fishermen at work but only later find out that it’s that time of year when fishing is stopped then the fishermen do not go out to sea. I was hoping to observe and photograph the return from hunting and yet nothing: I console myself with the sun rising over the sea water gilding and making the sky pink and orange.
A breathtaking spectacle that is worth every minute of lost sleep.
The sun’s rays hit perpendicularly the white houses overlooking the ramparts, the light is reflected blinding. I take shelter in the streets shady while between a house and the other occasionally filters a ray of sunshine in the morning.
White walls stained only with potted flowers and other plants. The streets are deserted, the sleeping houses, sprouting from the corners only kittens, curious but not enough to let yourself be approached by strangers.
The port in the meantime soul of fishermen came to repair networks, as seamstresses sew industrious sitting on the ground like children. But they do not look seamstresses, nor that of the children, rather rough hands and blackened, wrinkled faces and rubbed by salt and wind. Their movements simple and hypnotize their chatter indecipherable intrigue.
Among networks, peeling boat, solitary fish and sea dogs go down below deck to drink me my cup of coffee, breathing the scent of simple things enjoying the day that starts early but at a slow pace in this little white town of Puglia.