Sunday, December 5, 2010

Where is Nonno? (Dove e' Nonno) - Barletta

This week Mrs. Yollis' class continues with their unit on fantasy. The story of the week is called The Mysterious Giant of Barletta by Tomie dePaola.

As luck would have it, Nonno's been to see the giant!
(Nonno is our guest blogger.  He is Ben's grandfather and currently lives in Italy.   
He shares his Italian travels with all of us! Enjoy his guest post!)

We visited Barletta during our trip to Puglia after Mrs. Yollis told us you would be hearing a story about the Mysterious Giant of Barletta. We wanted to see the giant and take some pictures to share with you.

Barletta is also in Puglia, on the heel of Italy.

The giant statue is located right in the city on a busy street.

People park their cars in front of the statue, ride their bicycles past and also wait for the bus right by the statue.
The statue is more than five meters tall. Five meters is more than 16 feet. Here is a picture of Cecca right next to the base, or pedestal, of the statue so you can judge how tall the statue is.

And also took one of her standing on the pedistal near his leg. Cecca is one meter 54 centimeters tall.

Barletta has many farms and fields around the city where they grow grapes and olives. (Can you imagine the giant meeting Captain Minekion out here in one of these fields?)

Very close to Barletta is a place where they make salt from sea water.

Barletta is now a modern city, but years ago it was a city of the Roman Empire. Years ago the coast was often invaded so the people built a huge fort for protection. Now it has a modern harbor that is overlooked by the huge fort where people can visit.

Is That Luigi?
Movie stars can be seen near the statue.

Now the statue is called The Colossus of Barletta. Here is what the people of Barletta tell us about it.

The Colossus of Barletta is a bronze statue of the Early Middle Ages, hollow on the inside and over 5 meters high. It most probably represents an emperor or famous warrior as shown by his military uniform, his rich, imperial robe and the bejeweled crown on his head, trimmed with two strings of pearls. Maybe Hercules, maybe not.

We are not sure how the statue arrived in Barletta. According to one story the Venetians stole the statue from Constantinople. On the journey back to Venice, the ship was wrecked in a storm and the statue was found on the beach near Barletta. According to another story, the Colossus was discovered in Ravenna, north of Barletta. Transported by ship, it was brought to Barletta’s harbor, probably to be used in some celebration.  When the statue came to Barletta it did not have a base, that was built later so it would seem even taller.

Did you remember the statue is hollow?

Do you think it floated to the beach because it is hollow?

In the story you heard the giant went to the fields and cried, I wonder if the giant went to one of the fields like these.


  1. Buongiorno Nonno!

    Grazie molto for taking the time to drive up to Barletta for us! You are a super Nonno!

    My favorite picture is the one of Francesca standing up on the pedestal with the giant. You can really tell how giant he is. She is the size of one of his legs!

    About how big is the square where the giant stands?

    Signora Y♥llis

  2. Egregio Nonno,

    Thank you for sharing the pictures of Colossus and the city of Barletta. I particularly liked the photo of Cecca standing next to the giant. The photo made Cecca look small and the giant look huge.

    Are there Trullis in this city like there was in Cisternino?


  3. Dear Nonno,

    Once again thank
    you for your wonderful post as you travel around Italy.
    Italy really is a wonderful place with so much History and culture.

    I loved all the photos as it paints a more beautiful picture of your travels in Italy.
    Have to admit I am with Mrs Yollis as I love the photo of Fancesca standing up against the giant.
    Now you can see just how huge he really is.

    Beautiful post Nonno.


  4. Egerio Nonno,

    Thank you for showing me Barletta,and its giant. The Mysterious Giant of Barletta, Italy is stunning.

    I enjoyed reading your post.

    All the best,
    Aidan (Ben's friend from Mrs. Ranney's class)

  5. Dear Nonno,

    We liked the pictures you sent. It looks really large compared to Checca. We have a question for you. Is all of the stuff on that mountain salt? Were looking forward to getting more pictures of the giant of Barletta!

    Yours truly,
    Ben and Grayson :D :)

  6. Dear Nonno,

    The statue looked like it was 50,000 feet tall. It looked like a knight.


  7. Dear Nonno

    Boy; that statue is big. Thank you
    for taking the picture of the giant
    That is a tallest one I ever seen in my life.

    Your friend,

  8. Dear Nonno,

    Wow! Great job on your fifth post in the series "Where's Nonno"! I think you have become such a great guest blogger! Do you have your own blog? I'm sure it would be wonderful! If you do not have your own blog would you like one?

    Ben is a wonderful student and I love to have him in my class.


  9. @ Nonno,

    I am reading a book about The Mysterious Giant. It is about the statue of Bartletta . Their is a lady called Zia Conchetta. Zia Conchetta and the Giant make a plan. They cut a Giant fat onion and Zia Conchetta cuts the onion and the Giant puts them close to his eyes and started to cry.He said the the kids in the school made fun of him because I am so small. The soldiers thought that if he was small to the kids in his school imagine how big are the people who make fun of him.


  10. Hi Mrs. Yollis Nice Photos of that Statue it is HugeMongous. Those people standing next to it, They are about the size of 1 of his Legs!!!!. :) Nice Blog you have by the way.

    Chase Melville intermediate Hamilton New Zealand

  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I remember this story, and it's very nice to see you reading it again. You were a very fun and I will never forget you.

    Moraiya =D

  12. Dear Nonno,

    That statue is pretty old but it is still cool.On our book it says it floated to Barletta.


  13. Dear Nonno,

    We loved your post about Barletta, Italy. We also loved the book about Barletta and the giant statue. It is amazing that the statue went off the pedestal because he can not do that in real life so it is fiction. We think that the main part of story is about the giant statue of Barletta.

    We have some questions for you:

    Have you read this book?

    If so, did you like it?

    Jaden and Alexa

  14. Dear Nonno,

    You have taken breathtaking pictures in Barletta,Italy!

    I think The Colossus of Barletta or The Mysterious Giant of Barletta did float to the beach because it was vacant (hollow).

    I think one of these fields resembles the field in our story when the giant deceived the army and pretends to cry.

    Ella in Mrs. Ranney's class

  15. Dear Nonno,
    I am Mikayla, and I am in Mrs. Ranney's class. I think it is wonderful that you went to Barletta.

    I am devoted that one day, I will vist Barletta. My grandparents are from Naples, Italy. My mom cooks amazing pasta dishes from there! What kinds of food do they eat in Barletta?

    Best Wishes,

  16. Dear Nonno,
    Thank you for showing your pictures of Colossus and Barletta. I liked all of the pictures.


  17. Egregio Nonno,
    My name is Carly. I am from Mrs.Ranney's class. Thank you for showing us all of those beautiful pictures you took. I think that the statue looks so pretty,and marvelous. I wish that I could see it in person! I have a couple of questions for you.

    What was it like in Barletta?

    What did you like most about the statue?

    What other spectacular things did you see in Barletta?

    Yours Truly,

  18. Egregio Nonno,
    I love the beautiful pictures. I especially like the one that has that wonderful, extremely tall statue.

    Jordyn(from Mrs.Ranney's class)

  19. Dear Nonno,

    I would really love to go to Rome and Barletta.

    I have a question:

    What kind of i vestiti is the giant wearing?

    It looks like it is grigio. I would like to see it in the autunno.


  20. Dear Nonno,

    Grazie! Thank you for taking the fascinating pictures. I particularly liked the picture of the enormous dock with the boats. The picture of the giant on the pedestal and Cecca made her look small. Anyone who stands near the mysterious giant of Barletta looks like a tiny weakling compared to the huge Colosso. I think it was very hilarious that you somehow made luigi look like he was near the big one. Thank you so much for the scrumptious chocolate and crunchy cookies. The cookies tasted crunchy and plain. Have you ever stood next to the giant of Barletta?


  21. Dear Nonno,

    Your pictures are very interesting. I appreciate the tremendous effort it took for you to travel to Barletta to take them.

    I especially like the photo of the red car next to the statue of the giant. It's really funny! The one of Cecca standing next to the giant really shows the amazing size of it!

    One of your photos of the meadows reminds me of the one in the book. I can just imagine the giant sobbing there.

    Thank you for another wonderful post I look forward to your next one!


  22. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I can't believe in the story when the mysterious giant was crying and said to the army that he was small. I also can't believe that the army soldiers fell for it.

    I was also surprised when Colosso stepped off the pedestal onto the ground in the square.


  23. Dear Nonno,

    The pictures were very nice! I have some question for you. What street is the statue on and when you first saw the giant statue what were you'r thoughts?


  24. Buongiorno Nonno!

    I am Leah from Mrs. Ranney's classroom. Grazie for your sensational post. My favorite picture was the one that shows Cecca standing next to the statue. It was intriguing how unequal their heights were!

    How old is the statue and did you notice any cracks in the pedestal?

    Leah :)

  25. @ Nonno,

    Thank you for another tremendous post. Your wonderful series of Where is Nonno, is a thing that our viewers are going to love. You will amaze us for as long as the spectacular posts will continue! Here are some questions:

    First, Do you know how long the giant has been standing there?

    Second, Is the statue rusty?

    Last but not least, Do any birds sit on it?


  26. Dear Nono,

    Thank you for posting magnificent photographs from Italy! Your wife looks like so small next to the giant.

    I also think that it's mysterious that the giant washed up from the Adriatic Sea. Is that right?

    How long is Barletta Italy, Nono?



  27. Dear Nonno,
    Your pictures looked wonderful. I liked the picture that showed the giant alone. It looked really colossal.


  28. Egregio Nonno,

    My name is Jamie from Mrs. Ranney's class. Those pictures are exquisite! Colosso looks even more monstrous next to Cecca. I would probably barely be up to his feet!

    I have some questions for you:

    How long were you in Barletta?

    What was your favorite part of visiting Barletta?


    All the best,

  29. Dear Nonno,

    I am Emily, from Mrs.Ranney's class. I loved your blog post about Barletta, Italy. I think all the pictures are very fascinating and educational.

    Grazie for sharing this wonderful experience.

    Ben, you are very lucky to have a grandfather like yours!

    Cordiali Saluty,

  30. Dear Nonno,
    I think that the pictures you took were intact.My favorite ones were of the statue of Colosso.I can not believe that men had to wear skirts back then.

    Jack [in Mrs.Ranneys class.]

  31. Dear Nonno,
    Grazie for the beautiful pictures of Barletta, Italy! My grandfather is from Italy and I would love to visit there someday. My favorite photo is the mysterious giant. He is very colossal.


  32. Dear Nonno,

    Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. I really liked the picture of the tremendous statue of the giant standing on the pedestal.


  33. Hi Nonno,

    I did remember the statue was hollow. Yes, I do think it floated to the beach because it was hollow. In the story it did say that the Colosso went to the fields and cried.
    No I don't think it went to the fields like on these pictures. From, Finn

  34. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I liked the amazing pictures of the Mysterious Giant. I can tell how the Mysterious Giant is huge.

    I have a question:

    How big is the pedestal that the Mysterious Giant stands on? .

    Philip (Ben's Best Friend)

  35. Buongiorno Nonno!

    I enjoyed your post about Barletta!

    I specifically liked the photo of Cecca and the Mysterious Giant of Barletta. Compared to humans, Colosso is tremendously monstrous! Cecca looks like a tiny weakling in the picture!

    I loved the part of the book that the giant went to the meadow and tricked the townspeople's foes into being the smallest boy in school and everyone always teased him.

    The giant started sobbing.

    It's funny because the soldiers thought if the giant appeared to be the shortest kid in school then the other people in town would be humongous!

    Nonno, I want to thank you for everything. Seeing your posts, you are always taking the time and effort.

    You are superb!

    "See" you later!

    Your friend in Los Angeles,
    Adia (from Signora Y♥llis' class)

  36. Egregio Nonno,

    Thank you for showing us the Mysterious Giant. The pictures you took look AMAZING!

    My favorite picture was the one with the SALT MOUNTAINS!

    I have some questions for you:
    How tall is the statue? Do any birds poop on the statue? Why do you like the statue?


    Rachel [in Mrs. Ranney's class]

  37. Buongiorno Nonno!

    Yes, I think the statue floated to the beach because it was hollow.I like the picture of the mysterious giant titled
    "Is That Luigi?"

    Ariel(from Mrs.Ranney's

  38. Dear Nono,

    Those pictures you took were exquisitely done. I loved how clear the pictures were. I especially loved the picture with Francesca standing next to the giant on the pedestal.

    The biggest statue I've ever seen is the Statue of Liberty. It had a huge pedestal. I wish I still lived in New York with all the tall buildings and most of my family there.

    Have you ever been to New York? If so, what was your favorite building? My dad used to work in a building with 80 floors. Wow, that's really tall!


  39. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I'm so glad that Nonno, made this post about Barletta. I'm so happy that we got to see the giant. It was so big!


  40. Buongiorno Nonno,
    The statue is so giant and so mysterious. Those pictures are so fantastic that you showed on the blog. Could you answer some of my questions? How many people are at the statue when it is a weekend.

    Your new friend,
    Edo (from Mrs.Ranney's class)

  41. Dear Nonno,
    I am a student in Mrs.Ranney's class. Thank you for showing me Barletta and its giant.
    The pictures that you took were amazing. My favorite picture was the one that had the statue. I have never seen a statue of a huge giant standing on a pedestal. Was the giant eighteen feet tall or was it bigger than eighteen feet tall? I wish that I was in Barletta.


  42. Dear Nonno,

    Thank you so much for the outstanding photos of Colosso. In the story The Mysterious Giant Of Barletta, Colosso was sobbing but he was just acting.


  43. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    In the story of Barletta the giant is very mysterious. No one knows how it got there and when. I like the story because it took place in Italy, where Nonno lives. I have some questions.

    Has anyone been to Barletta?

    Has anyone seen the mysterious giant?



  44. Buongiorno Nonno,

    I'm glad you were able to share the story with our classes. I like what you posted on Mrs. Yollis' blog. I hope I can go to Italy soon. I would like to see the statue of Colossus in person.

    Thanks again,

  45. Dear Nonno,
    My favorite is the one of Cecca standing on the pedestal. I think that your pictures of the mysterious giant were outstanding.
    Buona notte,


  46. Dear Nono,

    I think that the pictures are sensational!

    In the story Colossus has many nicknames like Big One, Mysterious Giant, and one similar to the real one Colosso.

    I have a question:

    Does Colossus have any nicknames similar to the ones in the story, or do people just call it Colossus?

    Happy New Year!

    All the best,
    Jamie (In Mrs. Ranney's class)


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