I stayed in Bari, Italy for a week down south in the Puglia region for my birthday, where I spent the days photographing the people and food in the city and getting lost in the maze of alley streets in the Old Town. Here are my photographs and stories…
We meet Michel, an old fisherman along the boat docks in Bari. He sells fresh every day and always has been for 50 years. “Siempre” he says. Always.
There is this passionate romanticism and mystic contemplation – “bel far niente” the art of doing nothing that peacefully nudges me to write. There is no urgency, no force or focus like there is back home. No one needs me right now. Nothing has to steal my time.
Here traveling Bari Italy, I feel as if there is more time. Italy, specifically the south down in the Puglia region near Bari, feels worlds away from Northern Italy and France. While living in France leads a far slower, simpler lifestyle than the United States, it is still much faster paced in Northern France than Southern Italy. It feels world away.
I feel as if my words playfully wish to pour out, here I can do that, in this little cafe. The soft foam billows over the ceramic coffee cup. The shiny, sleek cappuccino machine roars above our voices as we deal our crisp cards, and the hot steam dances together with the tinkling of euro coins on saucer plates. Alex offers me the last of his foam – true love – and I eagerly accept with rapt elation. Italian is like music to my ears, it tumbles and cascades like a waterfall – loud, passionate, quick- but melts like butter when it reaches my eardrums. I love this rolling, wistful language.
The roar of the cappuccino machine with its sleek knobs and protruding knuzzles is my constant companion; it is a brewing beast.
We sit at Caffe Saccaria, est 1882, outside of the collassal castle, watching the Italian families and few tourists co-mingle, bowing down to the lowest echelons of sightseeing by being herded into a bright red city tour choo-choo. What a travesty.
The cigarette smoke billows around me. And yet it doesn’t faze me in the slightest...for I am in Italy.
A local crowd favorite, be sure to make a reservation a few hours before they open in the evening. When ordering, ask for a small sample of everything, it was delicious! The romantic ambiance, old Italian cavern walls and wine selection was magical, plus the burrata cheese and warm focaccia will melt in your mouth!
Outdoor Cafe on the Sea – Ciclatera Sotto II Mare
May 21, 2019
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