The next day was a walk around Otranto, and all met at Porta Terra, near my place which is in the old city wall. It was hot, but certainly not the same as it is now, near the end of June. It was easy to get around. There are a lot of hills, and one thing I would say is to have good walking shoes.
As I am walking around, I am listening to others talk, and looking at my surroundings. A few stray dogs were walking with their tongue hanging out, or else lying in the shade. There is a problem here I am told with strays. The Italians are not used to having dogs and cats, and it is a fairly recent development. It is one which is a bourgeoisie activity, and they do not know how to take care of them, or what to expect. So they come to Otranto and dump the animals off. It’s really quite sad. At night, I can hear them barking and in the morning I see them in the old city as I walk to the castle. My heart goes out each time. There is one dog, I think a German Shepherd, who has known what it is to be part of a family, I can see it in his eyes. About the middle of the month, I started to say hello to him, and he now barks at me, and follows me as I walk.
I am looking at the houses as we tour the new town, where many residents live, and it is all cement, formal, but all quite beautiful. It is easy to see what the people here value, and it is simplicity. Whether it is because of an economic result, or by choice, I am not sure, but I do know it is quite lovely and unspoiled.
That afternoon, we go to the Castello and select studios and get our keys. When that is done, I take my supplies to the Castello and afterwards I wander. As i walk around, I am looking for magic and mystery. Little did I know I would find it in my flat that evening.