Laidback Lecce

Baroque fantasy Lecce is a marvel of architectural beauty with its buildings hewn from the local limestone.

Building buffs will be spoilt for choice as they wander the streets gazing in awe upwards!

Piazza del Duomo is surrounded by delightful buildings, so if you’re short on time then head there to soak up some of the key sights.

I’m romping through this 2019 adventure as I am well aware that I have lots more travels to get through before I am all caught up!

Gallipoli

Our next home from home for the next few days is in the coastal town of Gallipoli. This is the town in Puglia, not to be confused with the Turkish location that was the site of a disastrous 1st World War battle,

This Gallipoli is an attractive town, split into an old town and a new town. The old town sits on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a 17th century bridge.

It’s a bit of a grey day when we roll into town, but we still head to check out the town beach 🙂

The old town is full of weathered old stone facades and faded colours.

Vieste

Vieste is a coastal town in Gargano National Park. It’s a pretty seaside town that sits on a white cliffed promontory jutting into the sea.

In medieval times, the port was frequently attacked by pirates, Saracens and other enemies of the Kingdom of Naples.

Below the curious wooden structure is a Trabucco – a centuries-old traditional fishing machine that has been recognized as a cultural and historical heritage from the Apulia region.

Trabucchi are located where the sea is deep enough (at least 6 meters), and are built on rocky peaks generally oriented southeast or north in order to exploit the favorable marine current.

A huge net is lowered into the water through a complex system of winches and, likewise, promptly pulled up to retrieve its catch. At least two men are needed for the tough task of operating the winches that manoeuvre the giant net.

I love that this grumpy little feline has his own chair and a clear warning not to disturb!

On route back home for the evening we stop off for a bit more high octane beach chilling!

Gargano Coast

The stunning coast of Gargano houses numerous beaches and resorts such as Vieste, Peschici and Mattinata.

We’re just cruising along, stopping off at beaches along the way 🙂

The town of Vieste can be seen in the background and that is where we are heading next.

Marvellous Monopoli

Another couple of Puglian towns to tick off the list are Monopoli and Poligano a Mare. Both are characterful and packed full of architecture and local colour.

A colourful photographic exhibition dotted around Monopoli’s harbour details the local tradition of the Maya. Each spring young girls sit in elaborate altars decorated with fresh flowers to mark the new season.

Then we visit the cliff top town of Polignano a Mare, perched high above the Adriatic, this town is famous for its town beach which is flanked by cliffs where the local dive throughout the day.

Beach bums

On route to Monopoli we stop off at one of the many gorgeous beaches that dot the Puglian coastline.

There’s not a lot more that can be said about this – just lap up the sunny scenes 🙂

Before Bond ruins it…

Before the latest Bond movie makes it super famous, we were there first! In 2019 we visited the impressive town of Matera.

Matera is a magical stone city with breath taking vistas, perched on the edge of a cliff, high above a ravine.

Before Bond, the city was already world famous for for its ancient town, the “Sassi di Matera”. The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in what is now Italy.

The Sassi are dug into the rock and many of them are really little more than small caverns. The ancient town grew up on one slope of the rocky ravine created by a river that is now a small stream, and this ravine is known locally as “la Gravina”.

There was a Salvador Dali exhibition on when we visited, so there are lots of weird and wonderful artworks dotted around the town.

There are also many churches cut into the rock of hillsides and ravines called chiese rupestri.

More trulli!

I have no idea how people who travel lots have time to do proper blogs! So I just dump loads of stuff on odd occasions! So enjoy some more cute pics of the trulli 🙂

These tiny little fairy huts are just so gorgeous! Can’t stop snapping!

Plus there’s the added joys of souvenir shopping in one of the many tiny yet cavernous emporiums.

From hand painted bottles to super hot chillies and traditional toys, there’s something for everyone.

Festival of Light

Our visit to the trulli town of Alberello happens to have coincided with a magical annual event – the Festival of Light!

Colourful art was projected onto the UNESCO heritage town buildings while music and fairy lights turned the little town into a sparkling wonderland.

It was like Christmas but on steroids! The town was absolutely packed with locals and tourists, all enjoying street art, sparkles and food.

It was a marvellous travel accident that we happened to have booked for this date! Definitely an unexpected highlight of an already incredible place.