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  • Writer's pictureGary Mack

Puglia and Pulia: A day trip to Trani

Today we have decided to head up north to Trani.  Trani is a fishing town, just like Monopoli, Bari and oh come to think of it all the coastal towns here in Puglia! The guide book calls it the "Pearl of Puglia". We don't necessarily trust the guide book 100%. It said the Lecce was ruined and polluted by the number of cars in the city. Not the case when we went there! So, we decided to make our own minds up about Trani.

Having left the station, we walked through the new town.  Same layout as all the coastal towns we have been to, with a grid road system leading to the the old town by the sea. Nothing seemed different until, all of a sudden, we were by the marina.What a pearl it is! The guide book was spot on. 

You could almost breath in the history of Trani. We popped into Ognissanti church. Without reading the description, I could tell that it was a maritime church. There is an alley by the side and a window over looking it. I felt that the window was there to bless the sailors starting out on a journey. It turns out that this was the starting point for pilgrims and crusaders (a Knights Templar Church) on the way to Jerusalem. 

We decided to have a pizza. Only moments before we decided that we weren't hungry. All that changed when we saw the marina. This view had to be enjoyed. It's lunchtime so what better way to enjoy a view like this than sit, eat and watch?

We stop a Pepoi, a restaurant just by the wall of the marina. All we want is a pizza but the menu caught our eyes. I had horse last year but what is "ass tenderloin" and "horse diaphragm stripes" I ask you?

The menu has two different types of dough - the standard wheat dough and a kamut dought. The menu says that it has 40% more protein then normal wheat and the it is more filling yet thinner and crisper than wheat dough. We give it a bash.

These pizzas could be the best pizza I have ever had in my life! So crisp, so flavoursome

and so moreish. Jonathan has a diablo pizza which had five massive slices of salami picante (spicy sausage). My beauty of a pizza was mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, rocket and Parmesan. Everything work so well together - the flavours for the pizza, the ice cold beer, the view and the company.

We wandered the streets of Trani in search of the cathedral and castle. It's a marvellous sight when you find the cathedral. It's right beside the sea. If you stand looking at it from the front you can see the sea on both sides. The inside is breath taking. At first I though it was quite a simple cathedral, but after a moment or two I found it to be wonderfully calming and reassuring. It feels very modern, but is over 800 years old. the walls are stark but in a rather stylish way! I feel that a service or mass here would be a happy, up lifting and modern celebration. I was very impressed when I walked to the altar and saw the organ. Again this feeling of modernism or mid-century modern came to mind.

Trani turned out to be a very special day for us: Amazing food, a beautiful marina, two very impressive churches (one of which was a cathedral!) and the people. So far this holiday has been full of wonderful, charming and happy people. The people make Puglia.

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