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May 17, 2018 - Trani, Minervino and Castel del Monte

Thursday 17th May: The pace of this tour is very pleasant and again Angelo picked us up at 9.30am. We drove north of Bari to the little fishing port of Trani which was one of the most important medieval Italian ports and rivalled Bari for power. The natural harbour is very picturesque and is lined with restaurants and wine bars very popular with the holiday makers. The 11th century Duomo of San Nicola Pellegrino is right on the seafront and is actually three churches stacked on top of each other like an inverted wedding cake. It was built...

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May 16, 2018 - Polignare a Mare and Alberobello

Wednesday 16th May: Our first visit today was to a local modern oil mill of the Mancino family for olive oil tasting where we were shown how to taste it “properly” and all the beneficial properties were explained. The more peppery the oil, the higher the level of antioxidants. Then we drove to a nearby family winery, Terra Jovia, where again the process of production was shown. It was housed in an old villa built by a monk and included a tiny but beautiful chapel. In the surrounding gardens, we sampled one of the wines. The main wine of the...

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May 15, 2018 - Gioia del Colle, Altamura and Matera

Tuesday 15 May: As the laundry was just around the corner, we took some items there straight after breakfast and were ready to meet Angelo and the rest of the group in the hotel foyer at 9.30am. This consisted of Gerry and Agnes and their friend, Gina, from Wisconsin and Michael and Lourdis from Mexico. All were very friendly. First, we were taken on a tour of the historical centre of Gioia with the main stop being the imposing Norman Castle and beside it the Archeological Museum. Here was displayed a large amount of the finds from the...

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May 14, 2018 - Gioia del Colle

Monday 14 May: It was very nice not to have to get up early so we didn’t. Breakfast at the Palace Hotel was a cut above what we had in Sicily so we lingered a bit and ventured out around 10am. We walked more through the old section of town, looking in on the cathedral, and around the waterfront. We will be back with Angelo for a visit later in the week. As he was picking us up at 1.00pm, we had a coffee and cake back at the hotel, collected our luggage and waited for Angelo. He is a vey nice man with excellent English and we got to know one...

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May 14, 2018 - Bikes & Dishwashing

This week we spent 4 days camped on the edge of the largest of the Italian Lakes, Lake Maggiore. Wonderful experience for 4 out of the 5 days. On the 5th day, the campsite was jammed with Germans as it is a school holiday in Germany. You can tell that the village of Cannobio is “German oriented” as everyone in the stores speaks to you in German as does the washroom block cleaner. And oh yes, the entrance to the campsite, which should be INGRESSO in Italian has the sign EINGANG. So much for national patriotism in northern Italy. We completed...

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May 7, 2018 - Small Dogs & Polka Music

This week we moved from Vaison la Romaine to another wonderful Provencale village of Lourmarin, the home of recently deceased author Peter Mayles (A Year In Provence). We again used the local bus service, enabling us to reach out of the way peaks. Lourmarin is a delightful village with the traditional market completely taking over the town on a Friday. Provencale markets are a moveable feast of sights, sounds and smells as vendors travel around the villages setting up on different days of the week. On more than one occasion we have...

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May 4, 2018 - Pisticci

For whatever reason the drive to Pisticci, our final Italian base, was not fun. One or two near misses on country roads and total mayhem in big towns put paid to any enjoyment. Our plan to look around Taranto was short lived although we did get in a walk and coffee hits in a very pleasant, palm tree lined pedestrian area. The rest of the city looked grubby and run-down which was disappointing given the amazing number of big old buildings 'screaming' for some TLC. The waterfront with it's majestic fortress and tree lined walkway was the best...

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Trip Journal


the Italian Boot

Apr 30, 2018 - Bob and Jan join us ...

Another beautiful morning and I sit up back behind the pool to read my book with a cup of coffee. Gail is, at least I thought so, still asleep but apparently, I made to much noise this morning moving things to the shed. She just hadn’t decided to come out of her room yet. We head into town to meet Gabry for a coffee at L’Altro in the sunshine. A catch up on our latest saga with Aria Internet, which we have being trying to cancel for almost a year. What a scam, having to pay for an internet provider that never gave us great service and now...

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Apr 21, 2018 - Back to chores .... but in glorious sunshine and heat

This is work week so not too much exciting, but it is the necessary evil when you open your holiday rental home. So, a few bits at IKEA but not all what we were looking for … we need some form of storage unit for all our new linen as Villa Plus requires double the towels both inside and pool and we just don’t have room inside for that. Hopefully Leroy Merlin will have an option. Back in time for lunch in Alberobello and as it is a beautiful day we sit outside on the terrace at Il Pinnacolo and chat with two couples from Utah. The town is...

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Apr 16, 2018 - The Beatons have arrived

Saturday we all agree with the beautiful sunshine a nice long walk is in order. That will help clear the heads and deal hopefully with some jet lag. We get the required 10,000 steps for Gail and then head into Locorontondo for lunch. It is still one of the cutest towns perched all in white on top of the hill. From the right road you can see the ‘round’ old town perfectly. After a short wander through the labyrinth of streets we enjoy antipasti and fave e cicori at another favourite restaurant U Curdunn. A light dinner is all we need, and...

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Apr 16, 2018 - Italy here we come ...

Well for those you read my journal regularly and have been wondering where the next installment was …here is the story. Having completed our first week or so at the trullo I had written and was ready to publish the next installment of our trip journal. Then I had a catastrophic Travel PC failure. At the time of this writing it is still stuck in recovery mode, I have paid for recovery from Microsoft but so far to no avail … and at best it may work again but everything on it is lost. Unfortunately, that included the blog and the instructions...

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Apr 7, 2018 - Ausonia

It was a steady drive from Pimonte, bypassing Naples, but stopping at a number of smaller towns and villages on the way to Ausonia. Caserta was a standout so of course we made it a coffee stop. Tree lined streets and a pretty town centre were appealing. Capua was another great town but smaller and older with a 'cobweb' street layout which we wandered until becoming lost. There was much back-tracking but, sadly, no cafes or bars where we could recover. Once our Punto was finally located we were off. Roccamonfina was our saviour. A nice town...

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Trip Journal


the Italian Boot

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