Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ostuni

 Ostuni is a small white hilltop town with a lovely cathedral at its heart
In the main square is a statue of their patron saint - Sant'Oronzo. Legend tells that he saved the people of Ostuni from the plague by instructing them to white wash themselves with same lime that they used to paint their homes thus ensuring that they were cleansed and protected from the plague: lime wash is apparently naturally anti-bacterial.

 Built between 1435 and 1495 in the late Gothic style with a magnificent finely carved rose window. The interior of the church is c18th and has a handpainted ceiling
Opposite the entrance to the cathedral is the Scoppa Arch forming a courtyard linking the seminary buildings
The glory of the cathedral is the Neapolitan painted ceiling showing scenes from the boyhood of Jesus during Passover at the temple in Nazareth

It is really not surprising that older Italian women seem to be slim and fit climbing up and down all of these steps and hillsides each day whilst going about their daily tasks.

28 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, Most of the apartments I have lived in in Taipei have been on the fourth or fifth floors of buildings with no elevators, so I can sympathize with those women (and men also) from Ostuni. I just got back to Ohio, so I plan to enjoy the relative flatness for a while.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - living on the fourth or fifth floor of a building will I am sure keep you very fit. I didn't mention the older Italian man, as they seem to stroll down to the town centre and sit outside the cafes chatting!!!
      Hope that your trip back to Ohio goes well, it will be good to be home visiting your family again, I suspect that you miss one another.

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    1. It is an interesting little place to visit

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  3. Beautiful photographs Rosemary. No doubt there are studies that measure fitness of those who live an active lifestyle. In particular, the European women who go to market every day to make sure that they can cook with the freshest of ingredients. I have watched elderly women working in their steep hillside gardens in the Alps. They are all trim and fit. I work in my garden but have it sooo easy.

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    1. Me too Gina - just wandering around this old town in the heat was quite hard work, and it was then that I thought about these little ladies as I saw them climbing up and down the steps weighed down with heavy bags full of shopping.

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  4. If I lived in a hill town I could eat all the pasta I wanted. Beautiful photo.

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  5. The white town on the hilltop is so fascinating. I hope my house would be at the lower part, if I were a resident, though the view from upper side must be more breathtaking. I’m so attracted by the southern Italy.

    Yoko

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    1. Southern Italy is lovely Yoko but for so many years it has been overshadowed by her bigger sister, Northern Italy. However, in its own quiet way it has plenty to offer the visitor.

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  6. That looks lovely Rosemary - thanks for sharing. We were doing a weekly hill walk but have not been doing it lately but I always use the stairs rather than lift when the occasion arises!!!

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    1. That is certainly better for your health Susan

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  7. I can only imagine what it would be like to live there climbing up and down, good for the legs, heart and so on - for those that had/have asthma, wonder how they get along.

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    1. That is something I had not considered!

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  8. I've often wondered why a lot of these Mediterranean towns are painted white as even in this country it dazzles the eyes on a sunny day working on a white house. Apart from reflecting the heat my friend found out in parts of the Greek islands it was also a deliberate trick to dazzle pirates trying to kidnap locals to work as slaves with maze like passageways, hidden bolt holes and blind alleys merging into one dazzling lump of confusion in pre- sunglasses times.
    When I first visited France and Italy many decades ago the same thought crossed my mind about the numerous squat toilets encountered there as you really feel your leg muscles working in overtime even during a two week holiday. Every campsite and village in the mountains seemed to have them then.

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    1. The very worst loos that I have encountered are those in China where you cannot even squat in peace but are surrounded by at least 20 other holes!!! Needless to say I looked inside and decided very quickly to leave.

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  9. I bet their knees creak a bit though. Mine do!
    In the Australian outback they have 'long drop' loos. I looked in there and decided I could wait. It's amazing how long you can wait too when you have to. Dehydration has its uses.

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    1. I wrote a post on loos over the centuries some time ago, and I am beginning to feel that there might be another in the pipeline!

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    2. I may have missed that one, Rosemary. Looking forward to it. :)

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  10. These are beautiful phots, Rosemary - and that Saint was very wise. The town looks so lovely on the hill!

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    1. I had never heard of St.Oronzo before Britta, but we kept bumping into him as we travelled down through southern Italy.

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  11. These are again wonderful photos of beautiful places.

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  12. Dearest Rosemary,
    For that era Sant'Oronzo was very wise for instructing the Ostuni people to use white lime wash to avoid the plaque!
    What a beautiful cathedral and surrounding buildings.
    Thanks for sharing this and sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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  13. What a romantic looking little town. Reminds me a bit of the setting in the Peter Sellers movie, AFTER THE FOX. (An excrutiatingly funny comedy/satire in which Sellers plays an Italian convict escaped from jail and somehow gets involved in making a movie in a small Italian town.)

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  14. A foto da igreja com a luminária é bela!

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