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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Puglia, Italy

May 18, 2018 - Lecce and Gallipoli

Friday 18th May: A much earlier start today as we are driving all the way to Lecce so were on the road by 8am. The day is overcast and threatens to rain a little. We were delayed a bit by some roadworks and Angelo had to stop for tape to fix the side window where someone had tried to steal the van the night before. We arrived in Lecce about 10.30am and began our guided walk of the city centre. At the entrance is the Piazza Sant’Oronzo, patron saint of Lecce, with a statue of him (undergoing restoration). Nearby was a well preserved Roman...

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May 13, 2018 - Bari

Sunday 13 May: A day of traveling. We said goodbye to Flavia and the other tour members with the exception of Helen and Paul who were traveling on the same flights to Bari. We walked to the airport shuttle bus stop in Piazza Politeama to find it mainly closed off with the police everywhere and we were told that there was to be a demonstration. A bus person told us to go 100m or so further on to catch the bus but had no idea what the demonstration was about. When we did get the bus the traffic was horrendous getting out of Palermo and we...

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May 5, 2018 - Bari

Having now completed three months on the road the time had arrived to hand in the car keys and head off to Albania for another adventure. Our Italian experience was extremely rewarding and although there were many scary situations the positives definitely came out on top. It was a tad sad to farewell our hire car, she had performed admirably. The little Fiat Punto had been through situations it probably had never experienced before, especially the 'Dukes of Hazard' airborne maneuvers we unintentionally put her through. She had been...

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Trip Journal


the Italian Boot

Apr 21, 2017 - Lecce and travel by slow trains in Puglia

The province of Puglia is known as the breadbasket of Italy - it is the source of 80% of Europe's pasta. It is also home to half the Italian olive crop - very evident when travelling by train with kilometre after kilometre of olive groves, interspersed with vines. The land is harsh and rocky, very different to the green rolling hills of Tuscany and northern Italy. Poverty and harsh living conditions resulted in many southern Italians immigrating to Australia, the United States and other wealthy countries, especially post WW2. Now, somewhat...

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Apr 16, 2017 - Holy Week in Taranto

On Thursday 13 April I travelled 'backwards to Puglia', the southern-most province in Italy. In fact, I literally travelled backwards on my six hour bus trip from Rome to Taranto - it turned out that my online seat, booked for maximum visibility by me at the front, passenger side of the bus, was bizarrely the single row facing backwards! The bus was packed to the gills with people returning home for Easter, so there was nothing I could do to change the situation. Taranto is not really a tourist destination: it is home to one of the largest...

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Sep 21, 2016 - At sea

We are in the middle (well maybe not the middle but you know what I mean) of the Ionian sea at the moment sailing back to Athens today. Its a bit weird as the majority of folks are getting ready to disembark and we are staying on for the next leg of our journey. We've rethought our excursion itinerary and will be making changes. As everyone is on board, it makes for a different vibe on the ship. This may be a short entry. PS: A few shots of our suite and lots of shots of leaving the port of Piraeus in Athens.

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Sep 20, 2016 - Bari

Our last port of call and I didn't even get off the ship. Brian was determined and headed off on his own and I just enjoyed not having hundreds of people around everywhere I went. The weather was spectacular and the few that remained on board pretty much took to the sun decks so I got to join a yoga class, roam and read in the library, have coffee and a chat with the barista, try my hand at some painting in the artist loft (do not ask), go to a make-up seminar in the spa, enjoy lunch on the terrace in the sunshine and have high tea and...

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Jul 10, 2016 - Lecce and the Salento

Saturday 9th July 2016 We are heading for a trip to the “heel” of Italy and rather than drag the caravan all the way there and back we are going on a car trip to Lecce. The biggest town in the area and so for a bit of luxury we have booked into the Hilton Garden Inn near the city centre and it has private parking and a roof top pool! We arrive about 11am and manage to get into our room – lovely modern with a great bathroom – no more sharing for a day and so we walk into town for lunch pretty good but a tad slow service and then a wee wander...

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Jun 13, 2016 - Lecce

Got up, headed downstairs for break and then down the road to Lecce. We spent the day wandering the streets and checking out all the monuments and historical sites. We hit the Torre del Parco. Duomo di Lecce, Chiesa di San Matteo, the Museo Faggiano, and Amphitheater. Unfortunately we couldn't go into the amphitheatre as they were preparing it for a ballot that was taking place in two days. The Museo Faggiano was fascinating. The owner was doing some repair work to the plumbing when he stumbled on ancient ruins beneath his house. He since...

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May 8, 2015 - Lecce and Ostuni

Pronounced lechie. A three hour tour... I'm pretty sure Galligan didn't get toilet stops for a three hour tour. What do you think? We have had to stop for the little old ladies... And the little old men. We waited for so long I thought I'd have to go too but I withstood the temptation. The true colours of the people are slowly emerging. We have a lady from tassie who not only knows everything but butts into everyone's conversations and is a dobber. She tries to be the teachers pet but I secretly think the guides are on to her. Constantly...

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Trip Journal


The Italian Job

Mar 15, 2014 - Down the Boot

Down the Boot I went straight from Alessandra’s to the Republic of San Marino, a small, 24 sq mile, independent state within Italy, because Ale, her friends, and sons all said I should see it, and it was on the way south. I drove to the capital, the city of San Marino, high on a hill on the edge of the Appenine’s, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The drive was in the top 10 scariest drives for this trip, mainly because of the insane Italian drivers, and the town was perched so high, with sheer cliffs on all sides, that I actually was...

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Oct 27, 2013 - Bari - Italy

Took an excursion a 1 hour coach trip through the Italian countryside to Alberobello, a town in the Apulia region that forms the top of the ‘heel’ of the boot of Italy. Thanks to the distinctive mortarless round stone houses with conical roofs, known as ‘trulli’ – the town was added to the list of UNESCO world Heritage sites in 1996. Many of these ‘trullo’ houses are topped by a so-called ‘pinnacolo’ – a sort of white cap or sphere – and all of them have curious symbols, possibly good luck charms painted on the roofs. There was an...

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Where is Shirley?

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