Today we relocated from Florence to Brindisi for the half-way point of our sabbatical.
If you can picture Italy in the shape of a boot, then Brindisi is on the boot heel. We are exploring this part of Italy because we have never been this far south in Italy before, and because when the Gospel was first being spread, Brindisi may have been its entry point to Italy and possibly Southern Europe West of Greece.
Brindisi was a very key port on the Roman network of roads and ship passages connecting the empire. If you were traveling from Rome going East to Corinth or Athens or Macedonia or Further East to Asia Minor or the Holy Lands, you would likely travel overland on the Roman Road to Brindisi, board a ship here and cross over. Mediterranean winds can be fierce (sciroccos) and rounding the southern end of Italy could be hazardous. It would be safer to go overland from Rome and then board ship in Brindisi or Bari. Even today you can easily take a ferry to Corfu in Greece from Brindisi.
When Paul was being taken under arrest to Rome for trial, if his ship had not been blown far west of its intended track and been shipwrecked on Malta, he might have arrived in Italy at Brindisi. His group finally connected with the Appian Way near modern day Naples.
Tomorrow we will walk 30 minutes to an Assembly of God church, one of a very few Protestant churches in Brindisi, to participate in worship, though we expect everything will be in Italian!