Linea Blu at Otranto

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    Today Otranto is more beautiful than never. We are in front of Palascìa’ Lighthouse, the most eastern land of Italy where the sun wakes up first…

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    We are with the team of Linea Blu, a very famous programme in Italy that is broadcasted on Rai 1, every Sunday afternoon at 2.00 p.m.…

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    Mr Fabrizio Gatta, a famous Italian journalist, is interviewing Professor Basset, who founded the Lighthouse and the Observatory for the Mediterranean sea in Palascià (…

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    Around Otranto, the nature is very wild. Here is the bauxite mines. The red ground contrasts with the green water of the little natural lake and the blue sky… Mr Gatta is interviewing the Legambiente’s regional president, Mr Maurizio Manna and an old miner, Vincenzo Corchia who worked in the bauxite mines, when he was young…

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    Mr Gatta is very popular… His face is on the cover of a famous Italian magazine, Tv Dipiù… He is looking at it with the Linea Blu director, Mr Riccardo Mucciarelli…

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    Then we go to see an ancient masseria of Otranto: Masseria Panareo to discover the tradition of Saint Joseph’ Tables. On the table there are big pieces of bread like wheels.
    In March the most popular feast is dedicated to St. Joseph. It is celebrated on the 18th and the 19th of March especially in the area near Otranto, on the Adriatic sea, in small villages like Minervino, Cocumola, Vignacastrisi, Giurdignano and Uggiano la Chiesa.
    The faithful people set 40 m long tables in the main square to celebrate St. Joseph. At home tables are set for three or for thirteen people and each guest has to play a Saint, celebrated in the Western Catholic tradition.
    The Saints taste as much as nine dishes that represent the traditional Salento’ cuisine and have a strong symbolic value.
    The Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and Jesus sits at the table together with ten Saints: Sant’Anna, Santa Elisabetta, San Zaccaria, San Gioacchino, San Filippo, San Giovanni, Santa Maria Cleofe, Sant’Agnese and San Giuseppe D’Arimatea.
    The table is covered with embroidered table-cloths and flowers. The main dish is the "massa" a particular type of home-made pasta and chickpeas that represents the colours of narcissus, a Spring flower. The "pampasciuni", a kind of wild onion are served in oil or in pickle and symbolizes the passage from Winter to Spring, fried fish is reminiscent of Jesus, cauliflower reminds us of St. Joseph’s blooming stick, ncartiddate (strips of pastry arranged in rose shapes coated with honey) represent the swaddling-clothes of infant Jesus, while stockfish was eaten during the celebrations.
    According to the ritual St. Joseph sits at the head of the table. He tastes the food, after banging his stick twice the guests can join in, if St. Joseph moves on to another dish then all the other Saints must do the same thing.

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    Now we go to the historic centre. The Cathedral of Otranto is famous for the Tree of life, a big mosaic that was made from Frere Pantaleone in 1067. It means the meeting between the Eastern and Western cultures. In one word, peace!

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    The priest of the Cathedral in Otranto is saying this to Mr Gatta…

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    Otranto is so beautiful that every day there are many tourists… They come from all over Europe and from all over the world. This group comes from France and they are playing a treasure hunt!

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    Now we go to the Alimini lakes, two big marshy lakes, near the beaches where you can birdwatch or go canoeing!

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    Mr Gatta is interviewing Mrs Chiara Luna Candido. He says: “See you in Otranto”!