A few days ago I arrived in Puglia, near the town of Toritto, about 20 km from Bari. I'm helping with the olive harvest. There's a machine that shakes the branches to knock the olives down onto big mats spread underneath. When the machine breaks, though, we have to go at the trees with long poles, much like those shown on some Attic figured vases. There are two other Americans, who arrived the day before I did, and three Slovaks who've been here for three months and are quite ready to go home. It rained all night and most of the day, so the soil was far too soggy to work.
I got here two days later than I'd planned because... the morning I was supposed to leave, before I went to the train station, I decided to check to see if the museum in Boiano was open. It just happened to be so, because the Soprintendenza was making an inspection. Quite small, but some nice Oscan brickstamps and some tombgroups from the area. On the way out, I saw a poster for the 'Premio Salmon', an annual award for local high-schoolers who excel in Greek, Latin and Ancient History. It's named for the man who wrote the book on the Samnites (Samnium and the Samnites), E. Togo Salmon, a Canadian historian. The ceremony is preceded by a lecture, which I decided to stay for. A nice presentation on settlements in south-central Italy in the 4th and 3rd cent. BCE. There were also a few remarks by professor Gianfranco De Benedittis, a very eminent Italic archaeologist. My 30 minutes are nearly up, so that's it for now.