On my bus ride to Chieti I met a really nice lady on her way to her job as nurse who lives in Ortona. She recommended going there, and I had been wondering if I should, so the next afternoon I had free I headed there on a bus. I didn’t buy a ticket, I was still very confused about how to do that. Sadly this time the bus ticket guys got on and were checking to make sure everybody had a ticket. I had my “I’m foreign” act rearing and ready to be played out for better or for worse, when the girl sitting next to me actually didn’t have a ticket either. So, they wrote her up for what looked like a large fine. I was thinking “there’s no way they won’t give me a fine now after setting the precedence with her”. LUCKILY it seemed, through my quickly beating heart, that they had a fining quota, and had met it, so they didn’t even ask to see my ticket. What?! So lucky. I will definitely figure out how to pay for the bus next time.
I got to Ortona, again, having no idea where I or anything else was. I began wandering and was instantly excited about how much cooler it was here. Not cool as in awesome, but cool as in breezy and significantly more shady, so walking around was quite pleasant. Ortona is another medieval town like a lot of the rest I had visited, but this one was coastal so it definitely had a different vibe to it. It was also another very Italian town, nobody spoke English and I obviously stood out as a foreigner.I started off my afternoon with gelato of course. I loved this baby cone and marshmallow they put on it.
I managed to find the “waterfront” which was actually not a waterfront like I was expecting (like in Pescara). I realized we were actually on the top of a bluff with an amazing view of the port.
I then decided to walk along this road on the edge of town to see what I could find.
I found a Castle!
The castle was built in response to Venetian powers destroying the port there. Here’s a wikipedia link to a brief but interesting summary of Ortona’s history. I was so excited I found a castle.
View from the Castle
Me inside the castle with a view of the port
Me under the Castle
I then headed back into the main town (Ortona is very small) and found the main church which almost every street has a view of.
Some sort of actually religious ceremony was going on so I didn’t get to go inside. Later this led to an interesting conversation with my host mom about religion, where I figured out that she’s an athiest in all but personal declaration of the word. We had a good conversation about how the catholic church dominates Italy and how that hurts their society in a lot of ways.
While Ortona’s history is rich, beginning in ancient Roman times, most all of the monuments have crumbled. I managed to notice that last bits of a monastery near this church. Most everything else is in decay or has been torn down/built on top of. Makes me grateful for the history people have managed to preserve!
I finished up the day with apertivo, the drink was DELICIOUS, something guava based. Perfect in the residual heat of the day.