Italy, la dolce vita!
And that is so true, the sweets are sweeter, the wine tastier and the food divine. Did I mention the lovely weather and nice people already?
During my flight to Innsbruck earlier this year I read an article about Puglia in the Transavia magazine, and their marketing worked. The week after I had booked my ticket to Bari, to enjoy some sun after all those trips to snow and cold (no that is not complaining, but just a nice change in scenery).
So I undust my Lonely Planet of Italy and plan a small round trip, with the main focus on food, culture and more food. Many suggest to only pay a short visit to Bari, but I very much liked it.
Adjusting to the pace of life in Bari
The relaxed vibe, its historic center and time travelling atmosphere have something intriguing. Like this older woman getting water from a central water pump, laundry hanging outside the smaller windows and floral outfit complete it all. And this is only day 1.
If you get up early enough and stroll the streets you will find them nearly empty of tourist, allowing for friendly encounters with the locals. This sweet “guard dog” came out of his house to post for me, followed by a smile from the owner who amusingly watched the scene.
Small towns and friendly people
Southern Italy is quite a religious region and during my stay there were several processions. Shortly after taking the picture below one of the little boys ran up to me to give a branch of the olive tree, wishing me all good. So sweet!
Locorotonde is definitely a place to visit if you are around, and if time allows stay overnight. During the evening it ups in charm so much. The wave surroundings make a perfect scenery for a long and belated lunch. Stack up on great bites and a bottle of pre-cooled wine at a shop close to the arched entrance to the city centre. This is what I had in mind booking this trip!
Local specialities and charm in Puglia
One of the most enjoyable meals I had in Matera. The tiramisu was asome (I ordered 2!! of them, because 1 was simply not enough). Matera is beautiful, but also touristy. For that is more than enough reason to stay only 1 night and move on.
And where else than in Italy you get a flower in your hair from a casanova, in the autumn of his life, after fueling up to continue the road trip on the wonderful coastline. Passing through ghost cities, preparing for the influx of tourist. I wish I had timed differently allowing for a lunch at the beach, but it was too early for Italian restaurants to be open.
The best quality food I enjoyed in Otranto.
And last and least is Alberobello. Based on the high rankings on must-see list all over internet I squeezed it in the morning for the return flight. The hour walk around was more than enough to see the lovely houses, because they are cute, but it feels more like an amusement park. I did manage to find a small street without tourists, where locals were putting up the laundry outside allowing for a more authentic feel and perfect time to leave this great area.