We celebrate summer right from the first month, with a one week trip to Italy’s seaside. My friend, Patricia, came up with the idea to go to Bari and while at first I was reluctant in engaging in the trip – just because that’s me, a procrastinator when having to decide something – now I cannot wait for it! And the excitement grew exponentially since I had started to do research of the region and saw how many wow wow WOW places there are: the towns, the landscape, the history and cultural legacy and delicious Italian cuisine and then natural parks and blue flag beaches, all bundled in Puglia, the high heel on Italy’s map.
Puglia has been in the shadows of Amalfi coast but lately it’s getting the recognition it deserves, a true gem of the Adriatic.
First of all, to explore Puglia you need much more than a week. The wishlist below forms my initial plan of the MUST SEE for a the first time here, and I had concentrated more on the upper half of the ‘heel’ because my idea was to let the lower part for some other time.
Castel del Monte, this unique octagonal structure, is actually a castle from the 13th century.
Trulli from Alberobello – the cute little traditional houses, with the white exterior walls and the grey conical roofs.
The Sassi di Matera – considered to be the first settlements in Italy.
Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo – a place of worship dedicated to Michael archangel.
Bari – we will be arriving by plane from Bucharest to Bari, the capital of Puglia region where there is a big list of TODOs for the curious explorers.
Matera – Sassi di Matera might be UNESCO sites, but the whole town is a gem! My heart pumps each time I’m reading about it. Although this town is outside Puglia region, it is not far from Bari and I will not miss it for the world!
Polignano a Mare – it is a picturesque small town on the coast, with a unique beach, just a little bit to the South of Bari.
Ostuni – also known as The white town of Italy.
Martina Franca – a beautiful town in Taranto area. Try here the capocollo, a type of ham the locals are very proud of.
Lecce – is the capital of Lecce area in the Salento peninsula (the tip of the heel) and is also called the Florence of South.
Beaches – the blue paradise of Adriatic sea
I have made a small list of beaches, but in Italy most of them are private and they belong to the Hotels on the coast; that means they are either very expensive, either not reachable.
Baia delle Zagarre – this is close to one of the UNESCO sites, Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo. If we get here, it will be one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been.
Lido Bosco Verde – this one is close to the white town Ostuni, and luckily, from what I have read, is free and reachable to everyone.
Torre Guaceto – has the great advantage that is part of a natural park, so it’s unaltered by hotels and bars.
Vacation challenge: Plan changed!
However, in the last week the plan has changed a LOT, because this time, it’s not just me and Rares travelling, but also our friends who have a different vision of the trip. We have discussed and negotiated and finally found a road map that satisfies our desires. But it’s good to keep a note to my future self, when I’ll be coming back, to check all the places I had in mind at first, right? Totally right! And also this list will help you find inspiration for your next trip in Puglia.
Let me know if you have been here and what are your advises? What are the things that I should not miss this first time?
21 Mai 2017