Trying to select some photos for this post (you will understand why it is sooo difficult in just a moment!) memories come into my mind from one of the most beautiful summer trips I have ever had: two whole weeks in Southern Italy with my boyfriend (who became my fiance during this holiday, but I will tell you this story some another time). I will split this post in two parts, because trust me on this, there are a lot of things to write about Italy.
Well…you see…I have this thing for Italy: it’s called love, or how Italians say: “Amore!” As I have already been in most of Italy’s continental towns: Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence and the entire Tuscany region, the northern lakes and the coast of Liguria, imagine my excitement about this trip thinking about the many places we were going to see!!!
Being very organized, I put up a list so I didn’t miss anything important and in just a glimpse we were on a flight to Naples, where our journey began! Actually, we rented there a classic white Fiat 500 Cabrio which we instantaneously fell in love with, who took us right to Puglia, where we spent one week.
One amazing week in a heavenly place! Puglia has a particular charm, different from all other regions in Italy. The people are very relaxed and the sights are just incredible: white houses, white streets, all white everything making a perfect contrast with the turquoise water of the Adriatic Sea. Blue decorations and green cacti complete this picture and make you capture on camera every corner you see. The entire region is a mix between cultures: italian, greek and arabic accents mixed all together.
From Bari, driving the convertible while listening to Eros Ramazzotti, of course, we went to see many small but authentic towns: the fairytale land of Alberobello, the pretty hilltop town of Locorotondo, the magnificent view of Cala Porto in Polignano a Mare and Matera – well known for being one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
If you ever think about having a city break, don’t hesitate for a second and book a flight ticket straight to Bari. After you breathe in the salty air, feel the breeze throughout your hair and eat the famous orecchiette alla pugliese you will never want to come back home.
Three days passed in a moment and after a quick stop in the white city of Ostuni, we arrived in Lecce, nicknamed “The Florence of the south” because of the rich baroque architectural monuments found there. For those of you who have seen Florence, you can only imagine how Lecce is. For us, it has a very special place in our hearts, being the town which we enjoyed the most on our summer vacation.
It was absolutely fantastic there: no foreign tourists, only Italians (making the place even more authentic), good music and lovely food and wine, incredible energy and joy everywhere. We would go back any time!
They have the best beaches, there is even a place called The Maldives of Salento (Pescoluse beach) where the blue water meets the white, smooth sand and you can easily relax drinking the famous Aperol Spritz and listening to the waves. Salento offers so much more beside the beach parties in Gallipoli and 24-hour fun, although you don’t have to miss Torre Dell’ Orso Beach and the view from Torre Sant’Emiliano! You can also admire the olive fields or take a day trip to Otranto to see the historical center or even go to Santa Cesarea Terme and admire the Palazzo Sticchi while eating a gelato.
We were there in August when the temperatures are very high, but that had its charm: the sun was shining all day long and we had the perfect beach weather. We got used to the climate quickly, staying hydrated and being enthusiastic about every place we were about to discover. I think attitude is very important when you leave the comfort zone of your home for some other places. But we love adventures and we embraced every change with a big smile and had the best time. And, as you can see in the pictures below, nothing stood between us and the long-expected vacation. With comfortable shoes, a sun hat and delicate clothes we could easily wander all day long without complaining.
If you have any questions or curiosities, feel free to ask me! I can provide you some tips&tricks about accommodation in the area, itinerary, car rental or any other useful advice you may need!
For more info about our summer vacay, don’t forget to read the post about the second part of the trip!