Via Francigena - Day 11
The next morning and another early start, unfortunately I was not able to hang around for the Blessing of the Fleet that was to be held in Mola di Bari it looked like it was going to be another fantastic celebration.
This blessing was in aid of Our Lady of the Altimore (Our Lady of the Deap Sea) ( Maddona Dell'Altomare).
I hadn't heard of this devotion before so I looked it up and found that the story is connected to a city near by (Andria) that had a deep well that a child fell into a deep cave that was been used as a water catchment, centuries after it was used by hermits to dedicate themselves to God. The child was not found for three days and when the and they asked her how she survived? She said she prayed to the lady that was painted on the side of the well wall who is now know as the Madonna Dell'Altomare. There is a cathedral in Andria and it is a sanctuary now and the Marian devotion is the patron of the area.
Our Lady of Loretto, church.
Typical costline along the way.
Next port St Vito and the Saint at the top of a columb outside the church.
The church still operational the bells were ringing as I walked past.
I was well and truly out of the sandy beach coast and into the rocky coast but now it was starting to become cliffs.
So much cliff and deep water that in the next town Torre a Mare they were hosting a round of the world Cliff Diving Championship. I don't think that they were diving then as there was quite a strong breeze blowing.
More cliffs around the town, it looks a bit like West Coast EP.
By now it was nearing lunchtime and I had done enough walking for the morning. I lwas still a long way of my destination for the day, and I was looking for a place to have a break and swim if possible. The cliff top track.
And I found it, a free beach with high cliffs and and a few caves to shelter in and livery deep clear water, so much so that they even had a dive school operating out of it.
Note a free beach in Italy does not mean the same as in Australia. You do not have to pay to get into it unlike many along the coastline that are privately run.
Some of the local's practicing for the world champs.
The Holy Heart of Jesus, a modern church in the newer part of Monopoli, as I entered into the city.
The cathedral in the centre of of the 'Old' town of Monopoli. I was disappointed I did not get to go inside the cathedral as by the time I found my accommodation, showered and set the cathedral was closed. It is quite something inside.
The court yard wall of the cathedral.
The boats in the harbour.
The streets of Monopoli literally like a maze. I was staying just around the corner from the cathedral but could not find my way there.