What a wonderful way to see this beautiful country – a 12hour train journey from Torino to Bari. We travelled from the relative heat of Piemonte to the sizzling heat of Bari. It is almost (but not quite) travelling from the top to the bottom of Italy. So one Friday we left to travel down – not really looking forward to 12hours on an Italian train. The Italian train system is one of the only things for which Mussolini is remembered with joy (by most Italians anyway!!) because they say if he did nothing else good he at least got the trains to run on time. However after our round trip I am not so sure – at least the journey down was almost on time. However the route we took across Italy from Torino to Bologna, then along the Adriatic coast more or less until we eventually reached Bari at 10.30 in the evening. Our destination was another 30minutes by car from Bari into the countryside to an isolated ‘rifugio’ (refuge) where we were welcomed by an Argentinian family living there for a brief period.
The Italian trains are a similar to older British Rail trains which had compartments with 6 individual seats in them, so there is usually an opportunity to talk to people as we travel. This journey was no different in that sense and we had opportunity to have interesting conversations with a couple of people who were with us for a few hours on the journey.
The purpose of our journey was to visit a couple of churches in the Bari area and also to attend a wedding of a former colleague who had worked here with us in the Forterocca Centre. That is the subject of another blog as is the return journey to Piemonte.