105 – Grand Tour of Puglia (Ladies Only)

Don’t think I have not noticed that if I put a random sexual innuendo into a blog title, I get 149 reads in the first hour, while if I write about cancer, no one bothers to open it. Shame on you. So, where does your mind wander if I say I went with two girlfriends to southern Italy? Do I have your attention? Yeah, I thought so. Do not worry, you have still time to repent for your sinful imagination and sponsor me in my effort of raising vital funds for blood cancer research. Thank you ♥

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I clearly haven’t had enough holiday in the last year (I can hear you swearing), but I guess with holiday it works a bit like with bikes for a keen cyclist: the number of bikes (holidays) you desperately need is n+1, where n equals to the number of bikes (holidays) you currently own (have had). So I kindly agreed to escort my girlfriends in Italy. I can state to my defense that I covered the role of tour guide, translator and designated driver, and driving in Italy is a bloody hard job. I think I already bitched about italian driving elsewhere, but let’s just sum it up again: sticking to one’s driving lane is against their religious credo; a significance of a stop sign lays somewhere between a mere suggestion and a roadside decoration; the speed limit times two is the lowest permitted speed before the guy behind you starts nervously flashing the front lights; and because there is an alcohol tolerance, everyone drinks like there is no tomorrow and then takes the car, because “they are perfectly fine and fit to drive”, therefore, even if I don’t drink when I know I have to drive, everybody else on the roads in the evening is pissed as hell. End of the rant. We survived, which is the important thing.

Part 1: Four days in Salento. The tip of the heel, home to beautiful beaches, fantastic food and glorious wine. We were staying in the agriturismo Occhineri, hidden away in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. If you are into nightlife, stay by the coast, but if you crave a quiet getaway, stock up on wine in any local supermarket and enjoy the peace. And bring mosquito spray.

Stop 1: Lecce (more pictures from Lecce from a previous visit here)

Stop 2: Otranto

Stop 3: Specchia & Leuca.

And some beachtime in between:

Part 2: Polignano a Mare. Mainly beach time and a couple of trips to nearby villages.

Stop 1: Polignano

Stop 2: Alberobello (UNESCO protected village with typical rural architecture, the trulli)

Basically, nothing in Puglia can go wrong. Literally everywhere is pretty, the sea is crystal-clear (there is a reason why they call the Ionian coast of Puglia the Maldives of Europe), there’s loads of history, they throw fresh fish and seafood at you, and the local wine is wonderful. Rent a car at the airport and go anywhere. Maybe except Taranto, which si genuinely ugly, with an enormous steel mill dominating the coastline.


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