Our Italian travels are coming to a close! We’ve spent eight magical weeks in Italy and I feel bittersweet about the thought of leaving. It’s safe to say if we weren’t restricted to 90 days in Europe we would be here for a lot longer exploring other regions in Italy. Oh well, I guess this just means I need to plan another trip in the future ;). As for the last two weeks in Italy we were in Ostuni, Puglia, just 30 minutes away from our last location. Surprisingly though, it fe
I’ve been saying in past posts that we were staying/working in Brindisi but the truth is our hosts aren’t IN a city at all, and Brindisi is about 30 minutes away. Brindisi is just the closest big city, and a whole lot easier than explaining what part of the country we were in. Only recently did our hosts acquire an address, but they sometimes find it easier to give out GPS coordinates as directions. Basically, we were in the middle of nowhere. OUR HOSTS Our hosts were Bob and
You cannot go much further south in Puglia than Otranto, which is located on the east coast. This most southern area of Puglia is referred to as the Salento peninsula. The Strait of Otranto, connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and separates Italy from Albania. The old town is set next to the harbor and lined with the little boutiques, restaurants, and gelaterias you see in every town here. Out of all the towns we have seen in Puglia, this was one of my favorites. T
The cuisine in Puglia is called peasant cooking (cucina povera). The staples are olive oil, grapes, tomatoes, eggplants, artichokes, peppers, salami, mushrooms, olives and fresh seafood. We have had some amazing food and wine, not having eaten out, but from meals cooked using the ingredients from the markets. Some may find it inconvenient that if a vegetable, herb, or fruit isn’t in season or cannot grow in the region, that you just won’t be able to get it. I think it should
In the quiet town of Guagnano, Puglia lies Feudi di Guagnano winery and tasting room. On one of my days off, a friend of my hosts( who are originally from Manhattan,) were kind enough to take me wine tasting in this area. The tasting room is set between wine barrels, a large jenga looking wine rack, and one table. Add a candle or two and this could be quite an intimate setting. The wines were incredible, I’m confident in saying it is some of the best wine I have ever tasted.
Bari was a stopping point between Rome and our next host in Matera. It’s one of the larger cities in the Apulia region, right beside the Adriatic sea. Within the city you find a mix of new and the old. One block is lined with designer shops and boutiques and a block later you transport back thousands of years in the Old Town. Seriously, one second we were walking by GUESS and H&M, and the next we saw fresh seafood being prepared on the streets. From pavement to cobblestone al
Our flight from Amsterdam to Rome was delayed two hours and while we were waiting in line to board, a couple behind us saw the SOU Alumni sticker on my water bottle and asked if we were from Oregon. We discovered they were from Eugene and both University of Oregon graduates. They were traveling through France and Italy, and we spent the rest of the wait in line talking to them about their travels. They were the first people we have met from Oregon since we have left, and it w