Otranto in Puglia - A Surprise Package

Italy, Otranto Guide (B): Otranto in Puglia - A Surprise Package

Like many towns in Puglia, Otranto, a pretty coastal town, has a mixed and colourful past. It was established as an important port by the Greeks which was later used by the Romans. It has been ruled by the Byzantines, the Normans and the Aragonese. All of whom have left their mark on this little town whose white buildings contrast starkly with the azure blue of the surrounding sea. As we strolled along the harbour of our attention was drawn to an old gun boat. Its rusty remains had been fashioned into a sculpture by the incorporation of stacks of glass panels. After a few minutes’ speculation regarding its significance we continued on our way to the old town. A few meters from the sculpture we found a series of information boards and the mystery was solved. This work of art is called L’Approdo and it is a memorial to a tragedy that occurred in 1997. At the time Albania was going through troubled times resulting in a large migration of Albanians across the sea to Italy. On 28 March around 120 Albanians boarded the Kateri i Radës and set off for Italy. But, to prevent the entry of illegal migrants into Italy the Italian Navy were effecting blockading their coast. They were boarding any Albanian vessels they came across. While the Italian ship Sibilia attempted to board the Kater i Radës they caused it to capsize and, it is believed 84 Albanians aged between 3 months and 69 years drowned in the Strait of Otranto. Thirteen years later the remains of the Kateri i Radës were used by the Greek sculptor Costas Varotsos www.costasvarotsos.gr/cv05a-en.html to create a memorial to those who lost their lives. History really does repeat itself. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Otranto in Puglia - A Surprise Package
Guide Location: Italy » Otranto
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Castello Aragonese   Cathedral  
Author: Valery Collins
Read it on author's website: https://experiencedtraveller.com/journal/2016-07-03-otranto-in-puglia-a-surprise-package