Through the Straits of Messina

14 Nov

We said goodbye to Sicily on Sunday morning and made our way to the small town of Paola in the province of Calabria. The only way to make that journey by car is to take the ferry from Messina to the Italian mainland. Our timing was perfect as we were one of the last cars to drive onto the ferry boat before it sailed through the straits of Messina. The 20-minute passage went quickly and smoothly.

We arrived at our cousin Pietro’s farm in Paola a little past noon and in no time Pietro’s wife Francesca began serving us yet another full-course meal. After lunch we visited the charming town of Amantea on the coast near Paola.

Monday morning, after a breakfast of fresh eggs from the farm chickens we visited the sanctuary of San Francesco of Paola and stopped by an ancient flour mill that is still in operation. Back at the farm for a simple lunch (including some of the very best buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and olive oil I’ve ever had) and we were on the road again.

Our destination was the town of Locorotondo in the province of Bari. It took about four hours to drive from the shin of the boot of Italy, across the instep tp the heel, passing some stunning scenery along the way. As we approached our destination we began to see trulli, the stone houses unique to this area of Italy. The trulli look like houses in a fairytale with their rounded corners and cone-shaped roofs. Our B&B is a trulli and also a working farm.

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