Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Brindisi Cathedral, Brindisi, Italy
(Also known as Cattedrale
di San Giovanni Battista)
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Europe is full of Christian
Cathedrals and churches. It's easy to get "Church fatigue" and it's
understandable. However, the history involved in the making of these buildings
goes beyond the seeming repetition of the similarities from one to the other.
This grand bell-towered Cathedral
(or Duomo) is the medieval heart
of historic Brindisi.
It is is considered the
jewel of the city and is a prominent landmark here.
Even though the Brindisi
Cathedral is located roughly 500 meters away from the two Roman Columns marking
the symbolic end of the
Roman Appian Way, it was built long after the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Entrance of St. John the Baptist
Billy and I were following along the
Roman-built Appian Way where it ends at the
of Brindisi (which is on the other side of this Cathedral).
With the Cathedral located right on this same
road, we walked right into this beautiful structure and the piazza in front of
The large door on the right is the entrance
to the Cathedral itself. The first archway on the left is the continuation of
the Via Colonne which continues along the Appian Way until it ends at the
Crusaders of the Holy Wars, and pilgrims on
their way to and from the Holy Land in the Middle Ages would stop at this
Cathedral for worship, reflection and to pray for safe journeys.
A Byzantine church
stood on this same site during the early Christian era around the 4th-7th
The Coronation of Roger, who was anointed the King of Sicily
was held here in 1191. This Cathedral also witnessed the marriage of Emperor
Frederick II's marriage to Jolanda of Brienne in 1225.
Harbor was such a vibrant connection for trade to other lands, countless
people passed through this area over the centuries.
Inside the Cathedral
The construction of the Brindisi Cathedral
itself began in the 11th century over the ruins of the Byzantine church.
Factors like earthquakes and changes in
building plans delayed the completion of this church until the 18th century.
Notice the chandeliers and the various
elaborate decorations above the columns.
There are still remnants of the original
mosaic pavement from the Byzantine church on the flooring.
Two older women take a break in the
The day we visited the inside of the
Cathedral, a Mass began outside on the piazza in front.
There was no other obvious way out of the
church, and it was uncomfortable (and felt disrespectful) for us to walk behind
the altar during this event. Even though we walked with our heads bowed and even
crossed ourselves, it still felt out-of-line for us to have been disruptive to
The two women above were watching the Mass
while being out of the sun and in the cool of the church. But it looks like they
took a moment to chat together.
A side altar
Richard the Lionheart allegedly stopped at
Brindisi in 1192 while
on his way to the Third Crusade and might have visited the cathedral, which was under
construction at the time.
Numerous Popes throughout history, including John XXIII and Urban VI,
Brindisi and most likely the cathedral due to its location on
Right above this altar is a well known
rendition of The Last Supper.
Another side altar
These elaborately carved wooden stalls were
typically used by the clergy and choir during religious services.
On the left is the raised
pulpit where sermons were delivered.
A statue of Mary's Assumption into heaven
According to Christian belief, Mary, the
Mother of Jesus did not die, but rather her body was fully assumed into heaven.
Archway leading to Via Colonne
While the origin of the Via Colonne begins
somewhere in Northern Brindisi, this section leads right to the end of the
Appian Way and the two Roman Columns remaining there.
The Via is an attractive road lined
with 17 and 18th century palaces, and it goes right past the Cathedral as you
can see here.
The buildings to the left of the archway most
likely housed the bishop and his staff, providing administrative and
living quarters. It's also possible that these dwellings accommodated priests
associated with the cathedral chapter. Or they could have served as a seminary
or school providing for the religious education or training of future priests.
These days some of the buildings are offices
for the administrative functions of the Cathedral, like managing finances,
scheduling events, or maintaining the property.
Certainly, if you are ever in Brindisi, take
a walk along the Appian way, the Via Colonne and visit the famous Cathedral
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About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha