I’m back. Well, I’m not really back. No sooner had I touched down I was gearing up to dash off again for a work trip. So right now I’m sitting in a hotel in Krakow, whiling away a couple of hours before I head off to dinner. But anyway, my trip to Puglia is now in the past tense and after so much gearing and building up, there was no small amount of pressure laid on Puglia’s shoulders to deliver a monumentally good holiday. We were absolutely gagging for it. I had got to the stage at work where someone only needed to begin an email slightly curtly and I was in floods of tears and calling up Sven threatening to quit (we’ve all been there, right?). My poor colleagues had increasingly been getting torrents of expletives on practically an hourly basis. Not good. Holiday muchos needed. Well, my friends, I’ll tell thee what. Puglia did not arf deliver.
I’ll tell you upfront (no point in lying to you), I’m writing three posts about this trip, which I admit is rather excessive. However, I was there for two weeks and when you consider that I usually write at least 2 posts a week, I think you all are actually being hard done by! But to save you from total boredom, I’ll keep this first one snappy and you can all just look at the holiday porn and do some hardcore fantasising.
First off, look at the place we stayed at for the first week (above). Isn’t that the most amazing house? It’s called Masseria Rodio and can be rented through Pure Puglia in case you’re interested. We just had a little corner of it, which was pretty basic inside, but perfect for our requirements… which were basically solitude, peace and quiet.
It was in the middle of shit-sticks nowhere; a good 10 minute drive down an olive grove lined track.
The place actually had 5 apartments in it, but only one other was rented out and lucky for us the other couple (English) were obviously on some kind of crazy crusade to spend as little time as possible at the villa as they were out from dawn to dusk, leaving us all on our own beside the huge and perfectly refreshing pool. Many many hours were whiled away dozing by the pool in the 30+ degree heat, then diving in to cool off.
The house was surrounded by perfect tree climbing trees affording us lots of opportunity to frolic around like little kids…
… though I’m not much of a tree-climber.
When we did go out, it was for nothing more than a wander really. We loved exploring Alberobello (best name for a town ever?) as it looked like a little hobbit town with its little conical trulli houses. Unfortunately it was tack-city, with every doorway overflowing with mini-trulli magnets, pens, postcards, models, tea-towels…
But it was fun to stroll around and imagine what it might have been like when people actually lived there. And it was funny to see all 6’4″ of Sven trying to fit in this miniature town.
Basically, we spent the whole first week feeling like this:
It was bliss.
For the second week we moved to our very own trulli and had our friends, Nick and Esther, along for the ride. The villa was absolutely incredible. I mean it was stunning.
We had a private pool this time too, so we really (goodness we were so lazy) just flopped around for most of the week, going out only to buy food, eat out and get the boys the occasional world cup fix.
As an aside, I feel I should just highlight how the Italians watch their games. Huge screen in the main piazza and the whole town out together enjoying the drama of the all the highs and lows, and all the spirit together. No one getting rowdy. No one getting angry. Everyone laughing and happy. What an amazing atmosphere it was. Sven kind of didn’t get it though and translated the lack of frustration/anger/fury as a lack of passion, and it’s true that when they lost or drew no one seemed to care too much… but it was lovely all the same.
So, in essence, the 2nd week was much the same as the first. Excepting that we did a hell of a lot more of this:
Which resulted in later risings and 3 packets of Nurofen being consumed in less than 7 days. Not so clever.
But we did get out now and again… our favourite spot was our closest town Ostuni, the white city, which sits atop a hill with amazing belvederes down to the sea a few kilometres away. We ate out here lots and in Vol 2 I’ll be writing about all the spectacular local food we ate. As a preview, let me just say that it is all about the local pasta (orrechiette), seafood and antipasti in Puglia. Heaven.
We also really liked Polignano al Mare, where we went twice. Right on the coast it is a stunning but tiny town where you are met round every corner with breathtaking views of the sea and where the local boys impress the girls by diving from the cliffs into the clearest sea you’ve ever seen.
So we did go out from time to time…
…but we mostly dozed and flopped about along with our adopted cat, Scabsy.