This year, in September, we will again travel to our apartment in Otranto. The sketch below depicts the ancient wall that surrounds the historic center of town. Our apartment is located on the wall and is shown circled in red. From the apartment terrace, we can look out at the bay on the Adriatic Sea to check whether the water is glassy and calm or rippled, from either the Tramontana or the Scirocco winds. Glassy, calm water means long, easy, warm swimming. But when one of the winds is blowing, it could mean a surprisingly cold and short swim. The winds are part of Salento's summer weather. The saying, found on signs, posters, t-shirts and the like, is: "Salento, lu sule, lu mare, lu ientu" the local dialect for the Italian: "Salento, il Sole, il Mare, il Vento" or in English: "Salento: the sun, the sea, the wind."
(Dianne Hales is the author of numerous delightful books about Italy, a blog, and lots of chat about the Italian language)
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