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  • Early evening view of Sarande as Serenisimma departed.



    A good opportunity to have chosen to take dinner outside on the aft deck.

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    • Moodful pictures. A rather exclusive cruise including the cultural program which is so different form the usual Med - Cruises of Aida, Costa, MSC and similar. It is sometimes hard to explain to friends, why i am not going on the big ships unless being so fascinated by ship travels. They like the "normal" cruises, but they don't know anything about such alternatives. I really do hope, that this niche market will be more and more recognized and will develop, not die.
      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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      • Day 8 - 14th September 2015 – Monopoli, Italy.



        We are now in Italy, but possibly not as you know i!. This is the region of Apulia (Puglia in Italian) - the 'heel' of Italy's 'boot'. Its capital is Bari, and if you have visited the region in recent years that is probably where you arrived, as it is becoming increasingly popular as a cruise port with the big cruise lines. But Serenissima is heading for the small town and port of Monopoli, which is also more convenient for a morning excursion to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage town with extraordinary 'beehive' shaped houses. I have to admit I had never heard of either Monopoli or Alberobello before I went there on this cruise. Altogether a surprise and delight of a day.



        Approaching Monopoli in glorious early morning sunlight




        Views of the old town as the ship approaches the harbour

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        • Serenissima was moored alongside the harbour wall, and as it would be some distance through the port area and around to the old fishing and small boat harbour and picturesque Old Town, a bus pick up was arranged. The morning excursion transport would drop off those like myself who had decided not to take lunch on the ship. I found a pleasant lunch place with tables outside in an irregularly-shaped square, and later explored the narrow streets and alleyways and visited the cathedral. Plus, of course, walking along the walls with Serenissima photo opportunities!

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          • The lighthouse at the harbour in the Old Town



            The lighthouse can be seen again on this photo - the view of the Old Town from the ship.
            Then it was time for a pre-dinner lecture "The Balkans in War and Peace", and after dinner the Ukranian pianist, Vasily Golub (who usually played background music in the lounge), treated us to a classical piano recital, including passionate performances of Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky.

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            • So you have not been to Alberobello?
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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              • Seagull
                Seagull commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes I did Ralf! Sorry my explanations were not very clear. I went on the excursion to Alberobello in the morning which set off at 08:30 and returned to Monopoli shortly after 13:00. One could then either get off the excursion bus at the old town and have lunch independently there as I did, or stay on the bus to get to the ship for lunch.
                I returned to the ship by the shuttle bus later in the afternoon.
                I did of course take photos in Alberobello, and what an amazing place it is. But here in Serenissima's thread I am only posting photos of the ship.
                ,

              • Ralf__
                Ralf__ commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for this explanation. I was not sure and it would have been strange, since you described the place so expectantly. Never mind, i looked at some pictures at the internet. For me also the first time i took notice of that wonderful village.
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