Dear friends, here we are in Apulia, the heel of our boot-shaped country. It is a splendid region, with a rich historical past. Today we visited the first megalithic monuments of our Apulian Tour. But let's start from the beginning.
Yesterday night we arrived in Canosa di Puglia, had a quick dinner and an ice cream and went to bed. This morning, out of the hotel... surprise! There was the weekly street market, nobody had told us and our little Renault Twingo car was hopelessly blocked among panties and pijamas. The only thing we could do was to walk around Canosa and wait until 1 PM,, the market's closing time. So we went to the cathedral: it was built in the Middle Age, but then rebuilt in more recent times. Inside there are two beautiful pieces of Romanesque sculpture: a stone chair, held up by two two marble elephants, and a high lectern on four pillars, from where priests read the Scriptures.
After the cathedral, we visited the Lagrasta Ipogei (underground tombs cut in the rock, dating from the IV century BC) and the archaeological museum. This is small, but full of interesting things, from the Neolithic (stone axes, flints and arrowheads) to the Preroman and Roman times (lots of beautifully decorated pottery). Under the Romans, Canosa (Canusium in Latin) was an important trade centre, known for the spinning of red woollen cloths and the decorated pottery. Back to the hotel (and market) area we were finally able to release our Renault car and leave for Canne. This is an ancient village, well excavated, known because nearby Hannibal (not the Cannibal one) from Chartago defeated the Romans in 216 BC (the famous battle of Canne). By the village, there is now a very nice museum with objects found in the surrounding ancient settlements, dating from the Neolothic to the Medieval times. Among the findings, a very nice mother goddess statuette from the second half of the 5th millennium BC.Not far from the museum, hidden among olive trees (Apulia has a 23% share of the world's olive oil production) we found our first Apulian megaliths: the 3m tall standing stone of Canne. This is the northernmost megalith in the region.
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