This is my last post about Puglia today. I'm sorry if they've seemed a bit strange and disorganised in the last week! I didn't want to post about individual days because they were all quite similar - waking up, working, lunching outside with salads, bread and cheese and then sleeping it off and chilling for the afternoon.
Plus this way I can be sneaky and use photos from previous years too!
On free days, we like to head to places like Gallipoli and Ottranto to wander around and just generally do a spot of sightseeing. Some of the towns seem really strange and disorganised - narrow pavements and an abundance of one-way systems mean that cars suddenly jut out onto streets from smaller side roads (causing unsuspecting English drivers like me to swerve quite impressively!) There are parts that are evidently in disrepair too with half-constructed buildings standing like ghosts at the side of the road or in the centre of town. Stray cats and dogs come begging for scraps of food at restaurants in picturesque piazze (and judging by their round little tummies, they don't do too badly either!)
Puglia seems like a completely different country to Milan and the North. It's chaotic and jumbled and the dusty landscape is resplendent with olive trees. Sadly most of the olive trees in Salento are now dying from a disease and you'll see the twisted, gnarled branches bare of their shimmering sage and silver leaves, contributing to the sense of disrepair. Yet the roads are often lined with bright pink and white flowers, the windy streets suddenly snake out across the train tracks and onto the craggy coastline and the towns are full of hidden treasures and ancient buildings. It might seem like a forgotten corner of Europe down there but it's truly worth discovering.
Just as a shameless bit of advertising for my own sake, you can rent Michele's family villa on Airbnb here - it sleeps 12 people so grab some friends and get planning! Perhaps a September escape?