The Easy Pace of Southern Charm

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map-puglia
16 days in southern Italy – 3840 kms total

When we left the overcrowded Napoli region it was a joy to arrive at tranquil Paestum.  Amazing Greek ruins with hardly anyone about, we felt like we had these well preserved temples all to ourselves.

Aussie Godess at Paestum
Aussie Godess at Paestum

While we had lost the crowds we had not lost the heat so we beelined for Sicily where we spent 10 days sitting on a private beach recovering from the gruelling pace and a touch of gastro.

Normie enjoying a few days off at Tonarella, Sicily
Normie enjoying a few days off at Tonarella, Sicily
Our own private beach on the Tyrrhenian Sea
Our own private beach on the Tyrrhenian Sea

With re-charged batteries we headed back onto mainland Italy heading for the Puglia/Basilicata regions. We took our time and enjoyed some of Calabria’s fine beaches on the way.  We eventually reached ancient Matera with it’s haunting Sassi.

Matera - an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge
Matera – an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge
Matera - an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge
Matera – an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge
Matera - an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge
Matera – an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge

The old town is simply unique with many of the dwellings now converted to boutique hotels and B&Bs.

Matera - an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge
Matera – an ancient city built into the walls of a gorge

We drove as far south as Castro before heading north again for a beautiful drive along the rugged coast to Otranto. This town was a great find with many eateries and hotels built into the cliff walls overlooking the Adriatic. Fortunately there was a small rocky cove which served as the town’s beach.

Castro - our southernmost point this trip
Castro – our southernmost point this trip

The next treasure was Alberobello, home of the trulli, 1500 beehive shaped homes ranging from the 14th century. While many were now souvenir shops and eateries the place still retained a carnival vibe and we were able to taste some of the regional cooking.

the stone huts of AlberoBello, known as trulli
the stone huts of AlberoBello, known as trulli
the stone huts of AlberoBello, known as trulli
the stone huts of AlberoBello, known as trulli

As much as I hate to rub it in for all you southern hemisphereans, there has still been no respite from the heat so we hit the lovely seaside town of Polignano a Mare and took advantage of their little grotto-beach before enjoying another lovely local meal in the evening.

Cooling off in Polignano a mare
Cooling off in Polignano a mare

By now most of you should have noticed that the site may look a little different.  This is because the old site was giving me some issues so I thought it a good time to move to a more stable platform.  This new home hosted by Zenfolio allows me to keep all my images and blogs in one place as well as offer a variety of print products which I use when I create canvas’s and photo-books.

I was able to import all my old posts but for now the slideshow feature (on the old posts) may be a bit ‘iffy’. However on the new posts the presentation should be a lot cleaner and more stable. Please let me know by way of comments if you have any thoughts regarding the new site. One last thing, it is now a lot easier to ‘share’ pictures and posts by way of social media (especially Facebook), so if you see something you like that you would like to share with your friends then please do so by clicking on the appropriate icon on the image (in the galleries) or at the end of the blog post, I would appreciate the extra traffic.

Cooling off in Polignano a mare
Cooling off in Polignano a mare

We were on our way to our last stop in Puglia, Vieste…but once again we have stopped off in a tiny seaside town, Zapponeta, which has a small campsite for motorhomes and an endless beach.  Think we’ll just veg for a few more days……..

Don’t forget you can click on any of the pictures for a full-screen slideshow of all images in the post.

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