Santa Maria di Leuca- reaching the end of the earth
Leuca Travel Blog› entry 4 of 8 › view all entries
June 19th, 2009 – by: LaurasAdventures
We were met by, Fabio, another good friend and our host/guide in Leuca. He rode the final 6 kilometers with us on his motorcycle- we had a good conversation yelled over the roar of his motor and he rode back and forth shouting encouraging words as the last of us struggled up the hill.
We arrived at Leuca's lighthouse and sanctuary where we watched the sunset. It's the perfect place to really "get" where you are. The wind blows your face, the waves crash on the cliffs below, the sun sets golden over the navy blue sea, and the sanctuary and it's statues glow creamy yellow in the fading light. The name Leuca has a double etymology in Arabic and Greek, meaning “light” and “white” respectively. The city does indeed gleam with the light it reflects off the sea. It was divine.
Fabio explained the town’s history- that Leuca was built up by rich 19th century nobles who built funky colorful villas on the water. Then he showed us where the Pugliese aqueduct ends.
Leuca- aqueduct or not- is a hot vacation spot these days. It's a fun place to get dressed up, promenade along the water, and check out the Italian discotecas!
The next few days were filled with activities and friends. Our cooking class took on new proportions as this year we began, not in the kitchen, but in the fields themselves. Daniele took us to his plot of land in the country and we picked early tomatoes, onions and green beans. Back at his house he showed us how to transform them into the delicious dishes we’d all grown to love. After all these wildly abundant meals someone asked the question: “Eating like this, how are you all not obese?” The question brought out an interesting discussion about the eating habits in our respective countries. Their first response was that they don’t really eat such big meals everyday, just when company comes! But they also eat a lot of vegetables in the south, most of which are homegrown or local and therefore very fresh.
That evening Fabio kept calling my phone. He told me a time and a place, but would tell me nothing more. Our B&B hosts drove us to the location, handed us a plate of homemade pepperonata and potato pizza, and said goodbye. In the distance we heard the fast rhythms and melodies of traditional pizzica music. There was a path that led through the old stone walls of an ancient farmhouse.
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