After an all night ferry ride, we arrived in Italy on Christmas Eve. After our friends picked us up, our first stop was the fish market where we got some mussels for a special meal that night. I believe the whole city of Bari was out shopping, probably because all the stores would be closed for the next two days. They really like fish in Italy. Even the potato salad looks fishy :)
Besides the mussel dish, we got to try many new types of food, including multicolored carrots. They are unique to the region around Bari, and are sweeter and crispier than other carrots. I think that maroon carrots would do quite well in the states. They also come in yellow. Another new veg for me was the fennel which tasted like licorice. And the fresh mozzarella was amazing!
On Christmas morning, we each received a nice fleece shirt for presents, and we gave a book on Montenegro to our friends. When the stores opened again on the 27th, we went shopping and once again, I think the whole city was out. At the end of the day, we boarded our ferry and headed back across the Adriatic, from Bari to Bar. A good Christmas, and since Montenegro follows the Orthodox calendar, we get another Christmas on January 7th!