Up until not all that long ago Apulia was ignored by tourists, in the recent past this is changing, the word has got around that here you can still find traditional Italy at traditional prices and so much peace – unless you go to Gallipoli. Gallipoli is overcrowded, full of scantily clad teenagers, empty beer bottles on the beaches and music so loud you can hear it across the bay, apartments rent for 3500 Euros a week … .which would be enough to deter anyone sane I would think. In the words of a local restaurant owner Gallipoli in the summer is “invivibile” – un-live-able. Overall it’s hard to imagine why anyone could consider this a prime holiday destination, but then I would say the same of Miami, so what do I know….. The Apulia I love is peaceful and quiet, it is found in the dusty villages, in the bakeries you enter through plastic beaded curtains, in the mill where you can get your flour directly from the miller, on the sea shore and in Lecce, a very beautiful and historically important town, with a beautiful opera house and a Roman amphitheater in which ballets, and plays are performed in the summer months. Having written my blog, I realize Apulia is the perfect destination for all those who have happily settled into the right side of retirement, a prime destination for garden and culture lovers who also love their food, think retired school teachers, accountants, judges, and people like me, who have a LONG way to go to retirement but believe in getting lots of practice in early.
How to spend a day in Apulia: you start your day with a cappuccino and cake or cookies:
Enjoy historical buildings – Apulia is one of the historically most rich areas of Italy:
And then because you love plants pop into the nearest garden center and drool over all those plants that won’t grow in your climate zone, to compensate, buy plants vicariously and give them as gifts to family members who live there….This makes you happy and them happy. As compensation pack your car with chili plants to take home with you.
And then if you are not full yet, and feel that a little something would be in order, then by all means finish the meal with a grappa, an espresso and some Italian pastries that you bought at a tiny shop round the corner that produces it’s pastries on location: