We took the one hour orientation trip in the open top bus and it was extremely worthwhile as it took us to the outer areas of the city. We drove along the Poetta beach road and by the salt pan wetland that is home to 11,000 pink flamingos. We saw some but they were quite a distance away and were all busy fishing with their heads in the water.
We then went up to the highest point in the urban park where we could see the city from one side and the wetland nature reserve and the coast from the other.
After seeing several other major points outside the inner city walls we transferred to foot transport and explored the historic quarter of Castello. The Bastion St. Remy is the main entrance by foot. Inside there is a whole village more or less suspended above the rest of the city.
This is the Torre dell' Elefante or Elephants Tower, so named because of the marble elephant on the external wall. The tower was built in 1207 for defensive purposes. The impressive portcullises are original.
This shrine above an arched gate was restored by the local Lions Club. We have also seen works restored by Rotary Clubs.
The Lions Gate was our exit point from the Bastion. These cheeky fellows are on the external walls of the gate.
In the late afternoon we moved on to the Quarter of Villanova. I was amused to see that it was the newest quarter but was founded in the 1300s. We enjoyed this area although they do seem to have introduced a lot of walking only areas and many lack any character. Big name Italian designers are well represented in these shopping boulevards.
The pictures below show the domestic section rather than the commercial part.
We had drinks at a bar that dated from 1855 and the freebies with the Aperol Spritz almost constituted a meal. However we had set our hearts on seafood so sought out a place we had noticed the night before. My mixed seafood plate was amazing - two different whole fish, two fresh sardines, calamari and so many shrips that Kel feared I'd turn pink like the flamingos!