A day in Apulia in meals, landscapes, tiny cars, the sea and….garden centers ….yes I know, but I couldn’t help it…

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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:

Breakfast in PugliaYou can jump into both the Ionian and Adriatic sea in the same day, or just enjoy the sunset:

IMG_0744Or the landscape:

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Enjoy historical buildings –  Apulia is one of the historically most rich areas of Italy:

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IMG_7908And take a break with a  simple lunch of pasta with tomato sauce and mussels :

tagliatelle and seafoodOr try a pizza – although there is so much more to eat in Apulia that pizza is a last resort, have it somewhere picturesque below though, and the experience is one you won’t forget:

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IMG_7846Get taken back to a time when you didn’t need an SUV to get around:

IMG_7854And 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.

IMG_0779And in the evening you settle down to a meal of wonderful fresh antipasti, followed by fried sea-food – fast food takeaway from the closest fishmonger – an unforgettable experience:

Fritto mistoFollowed by fruit that you can identify by taste and scent alone:

Fruit IMG_0759The kind of fruit that in today’s pluck when unripe, ship and sell world, is rarely found anymore, unless you are eating fruit from your own back-garden.

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:

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2 thoughts on “A day in Apulia in meals, landscapes, tiny cars, the sea and….garden centers ….yes I know, but I couldn’t help it…

    • 🙂 I was hoping it would have that effect, you would enjoy the food I am sure! The stripy fruit – well spotted, up until 2 days ago I would have said: cucumbers, but now I know better. Melons – a type of melon that is eaten before it is fully ripe, the seeds are milky and edible, the flesh tastes like a smoother more gentle type of cucumber, fresh and lovely, infinitely better than a cucumber for just eating on its own. Apparently if you let them ripen fully they don’t develop a really sweet taste, only get slightly sweet, which is why they are eaten before being fully ripe. Italians eat them for desert along with other fruits, in the winter they eat fennel and turnip cabbage for dessert along with oranges, very healthy diet down there if it wasn’t for all the bread 🙂

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