Sunday, April 21, 2013

First Few Hours in Taranto

About 3 weeks ago I landed Sunday afternoon at the southern Italy airport of Bari and drove about a hour south-west to Taranto.  The first hotel I stayed at was the Acor Mercure Defino, located in the newer area of Taranto. You can see the view from my rooms 5th floor balcony, looking north west.
The Defino is okay, but the rooms are kind of old, dirty and the showers are not much wider than my shoulders.  I ended up staying here about a week.
 About a hour after checking in, my goal was to find something for dinner.  This was surprizingly difficult, most restaurants were closed late Sunday afternoon.  One of the first places I found was Sosushi, but it was closed.  At first I thought this name was a typo, 'soshi', but when I looked again I saw the 'su' between so and sushi. They have a menu taped to window, I was able to confirm sushi is expansive in Taranto.
 My next move through Taranto was a walk along the 'Gulf of Taranto' under a tree covered sidewalk.  Keep in mind, I have no idea where I'm going. The hotel did not real have a food map or 'where to go' information.
 It quickly became obvious that I was not about to find differ along the gulf, so I turned right and stated to walk into the city.  After a few blocks of walking past closed store fronts I found the main walking area of Taranto, it's kind of like an outdoor mall.
 But even this area was mostly closed, but it was more fun walking around here than it was walking in other areas of the city.  This area is really for people to enjoy, no cars allowed (except at crossroads).
 Without even knowing it, I walked up on the Piazza Maria Immacolata!  Again, everything closed.
 A few blocks past the Piazza I looked left and found the open Pizzeria, Pizzeria Quick Time Paninoteca.  This place was great, the owner was a very patient person.  I did not really know how to oder so I asked for 'pizza?'  He looked at me and responded 'cheese, pepperoni?'  I said, 'yeah sure.'  And than he looked at me again and said 'beer, big beer?'   Again, I nodded my head and confirmed he knew exactly what I was looking for.
 My first pizza in Italy was very good, if you are ever in Taranto I recommend looking for Quick Time Pizza.
I started looking for dinner around 5pm and finished dinner around 8pm, I thought that was a long time.