After returning from Sicily we than headed straight to Puglia for a week before we had to catch our ferry to Greece. Puglia is beautiful and feel’s so different than the rest of Italy and is defiantly one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Not many international tourists come here, unless it’s to get the ferry to Greece or Croatia and in fact the landscape is more Croatian and Greek than it is Italian. It’s unbelievably clean compared to the rest of Italy and ‘no wild fires’. It’s a relatively small area compared to the rest of Italy and is really easy to place yourself in one spot and do day trips to the rest of the region, which is exactly what we did.
We stayed on the beach in Torre Canne near Monopoli, where the coast line is considered to be some of the best in the area and country. This stretch of coastline and that around Lecce are breathtaking with ancient ruins protruding out of the water’s edge and dotting the coastline for 100’s miles is a pretty spectacular setting. Inland hill top villages with funny little “Turril’ houses dot the landscape. Turrill house are a round house, with round flat top cone shape roof’s, all painted white. A really unusal setting for Italy and the towns of Alberbello & Locorotondo are not to be missed.
The Italian’s also like to wild camp
The Italian’s also like to wild camp and in fact seems to be a national art form. Its high season in Italy now and every man and his Italian dog are on holidays. The beaches become impromptu camp grounds and parties go on until all hours of the morning. We initially had the beach to ourselves for a few days when it was a bit windy, but as soon as the winds went, the tents, bbq’s, market umbrellas and Dj’s systems came. It was a hoot to see the local’s, young and old, party all day and night and then sleep on their deck chairs to do it all again the next day…..party beach camping with the locals – just awesome.
Italian’s like to multi-task! Particularly when it comes to riding a scooter or driving a car. Some examples:- smoking a cigarette whist talking on the mobile; leaning on handle bars while talking on the mobile; family of 4 squeezed onto 1 scooter with no helmets; weaving in and out of traffic without looking whilst using your hands to talk to the person in passenger seat……Italians deserve every bit of their bad reputation for being bad driver, however I must admit the French are pretty bad too.
The Asia of Italy
If Rome is the heart of Italy, then Naples has to be the bum hole! It’s like the Asia of Italy. Crazy, lawless, good food, scooters zinging around all over the place, queue jumping is a national pastime, everyone smokes, rubbish everywhere and absolutely no road rules obeyed.
One thing we’ve noticed about Italy is that there seems to be a lot of wild fires. Every 2nd field or hill has recently been burnt and there also seems to be an obsession with dumping rubbish along roadways and lighting it, which is not one of the prettiest sides of Italy to see.
Puglia is the only area not like this…..a well-kept gem that’s for sure.
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