Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where is Nonno - Dove e' Nonno - - Otranto, Puglia, Italy

Nonno is Ben's grandfather who lives in Italy. He is a guest blogger. Check out his "Where's Nonno?" series below or in our archive!

Nonno is a great photographer and travel guide!
Here is his new post about Otranto, Italy!


Otranto is a village on the Salento Peninsula of Puglia. The people that live there call the peninsula " The Salento". It has two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Otranto has a pretty harbor with hotels, beaches, a village and a huge fort.

Otranto Harbor

Salento peninsula was considered for centuries the 'door of Italy'. Salento after the fall of the Roman Empire was invaded by many different countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

Forts were built to defend the land. They were surrounded by big blocks of stones. These huge forts of defense were used for more than 1500 years especially after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Otranto Fort and Cannon
 In Otranto, the Fort was built over many years and is surrounded by a deep ditch with towers and a wall shaped as a spear. That fort is on the Adriatic Sea
Otranto Fort and Moat
In Gallipoli, on the Ionian Sea there is another huge fort built to protect the land and villages.
Galipolli Fort and Fishing Boats

Below is the entrance to the Fort of Otranto. If you look at the ceiling of the entrance you can see openings that were used for defence. The people inside could shoot down arrows or throw down rocks or boiling water on the attackers.

Entrance with Openings for Defense in the Ceiling

On both the Salento coasts there were many, maybe more than 58, towers on promontories or high locations. Some of them still preserve all their magnificence, some have been modernized for lighthouses and some are just ruins. During many invasions they were used as sighting towers so the defenders could see the attackers out at sea. 

In older times, the towers were landmarks for sailors, they identified places and they made the coastline area special. Even though centuries old, they are still important markers for modern sailing.

And now The Salento is a place for tourists who visit Alberobello and the trulli; Cisternino for dinner at the butcher store; Matera for the Sassi; ancient castles, forts and towers and to visit the beaches on the two seas. The fishermen still fish, tourists visit and boat.

You can see movie star cars and of course always have sweets (dolce).

So this is maybe the last post about Puglia, I will miss the the Trulli, the Sassi, the seas and most of all the nice people we met, the history and this special place in Italy. We saw again an old friend Gianni Zizzi and had lunch with his mother and ather at their house and his mom made orecchiette by hand. In Matera we had dinner in an ancient cave. We walked in old forts and had lunch on the beach. Lots of fun! Now we head back to home to Courmayeur and we have a lot to tell you about where we live.

What did you like best about Puglia?

Do you want to visit Puglia?

Where might you like to go?


  1. Dear Nonno,

    I liked how you travel and post about it. The photos of the forts are amazing. I have some questions:

    * Did you go fishing?
    * What was your favorite part?


  2. @ Nonno,

    I would love to go to Italy because my mom is from there. She told me that Italy is a exiting and fun! I like Pulgia because there are no wars going on if I go there. Tourists can visit there and go to the beach and relax, so that is why I want to go there. Also the place that I like the most is the moat.



  3. Dear NoNo,
    I liked the photos of the stone forts. I wonder how tall they are?
    "They are huge." I didn't know
    there are 58 towers.


  4. Dear Nonno,

    I like the new post, especially the photos. My favorite was the Moat
    because it looks like a swamp.Why are the boats on a dry dock?



  5. Dear Nonno,

    Wow Those photos of the fort are really cool. I would like to visit the big forts in Puglia.

    What I like best about puglio is gelato, yum.


  6. Dear mrs.yollis
    I really like your class picture!We take class pictures too.We took one of us when we reached 1000 visitors,we took one for our comments because we reached our goal!Also,we took a picture for mr,gomaz coming in and teaching us about drums.
    from,tyler in mrs.webb sheers class

  7. Hi i am from Mr.Austins class in MI! I loved the paintings!! :)


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