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From the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian: Part 2 - ITALY!

From the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian: Part 2 - ITALY!

Old Jan 4th, 2022, 07:47 AM
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From the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian: Part 2 - ITALY!

This is the second part of the trip report, From the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian Seas in 5 weeks (Italy & Croatia)”. Having just spent 3 glorious weeks in Croatia, we’ve now arrived in Italy for almost 2 weeks, where we spent a week in Puglia; into Basilicata for visiting the magnificent Matera; made a return to Atrani, before we end in Naples.

Here is the link to the Croatian portion of our trip:
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...oatia-1703021/

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________
Why Italy?


Having visited Italy a number of times, we’ve both fallen in love with the country, so, once it was open to us for travel, it was the perfect add-on to our trip to Croatia. Our last trip before the pandemic was a fantastic 5-week trip, traveling from north to south, where we spent some time on the Amalfi Coast and Naples. We had become friends with the owners of the small guesthouse we stayed in during our visit to Atrani, and I wanted to see them again. And we had been taken with Naples on our earlier visit but felt there was much we had missed. This seemed the perfect opportunity to return – something old, something new, as the expression goes.

If you’re interested in the 2019 trip to Italy, it’s in 2 parts, and here they are:

1) Nearly 5 weeks in Italy – Fantastico!

2) 5 weeks in Italy, continued…Orvieto, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and back to Rome
(I never did finish the Rome portion, but maybe, someday, after I complete THIS trip, I’ll finally finish the last one!)


And now, the trip continues….

Polignano a Mare - a coastal dream

Arrival in Bari, Italy – what a culture shock! First of all, the COVID protocols were much more strictly enforced. We had no problems at all, but the custom agent was tough on a few men whose masks were sitting slightly below their nose.

And what also struck me on arrival in Bari was that English is just not spoken. We found it very easy to get by with English and a few Croatian words because just about everyone, at least in tourism, spoke English. But that’s not true in Italy, at least not here in Puglia. And while M speaks a little Italian, and I have a few tourist phrases, it definitely took more energy to communicate.

We easily found a taxi, which we took to the Europcar office, where we picked up our car.
(***And now, my advice: MAKE SURE TO DOCUMENT EVERY LITTLE SCRATCH INSIDE AND OUT! We had gone around and took a few photos, the agent did the same – but we weren’t really noting every tiny scratch or bothered to look inside the car. And when we returned the car, they discovered the tiniest problems, including a hole that had previously been made in one of the seats, and billed us close to $500. And M was VERY careful to avoid problems, since we’d just left Croatia and went through a similar drill with the rental company there. Fortunately, we contested it with our credit card and the charges were removed, but we both felt that the job of the agents was to find anything that could possibly be charged – and then be charged an enormous fee for tiny dings).


But now, at last, we’re on our way to Polignano a Mare, just a little more than a half hour drive south of Bari. I debated between Polignano and Monopoli, and likely would’ve stayed in the latter, but found the most wonderful AirBnb in the old town of Polignano a Mare. We loved our stay here:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/47826388?guests=1&adults=1

It had its quirks, but oh, what a stunning location! What views! Wow! And we even got vouchers for pastry + coffee at a local café. And the host and his assistants were very responsive when we had a couple of very minor problems, so I recommend this place highly.



The little terrace - standing room only


view

Looking down!


Love the warmth of the walls.








Morning out our kitchen window


We arranged to meet up with Domenico just outside the old town, where he and M parked the car and his assistant and I went to the apartment. We arranged to get a parking pass at one of the lots through Domenico so we were able to come and go easily.

After settling in to our apartment, located a few steps from Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, we took a lovely walk. Of course, the first place we walked to was the famous beach, Cala Porto, or Lama Monachile,., situated between 2 cliffs. If you’ve seen photos of Polignano a Mare, you’ve seen the beach!





Lunch was pizza, of course, and we had our first meal at Neuro Ristorante, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Good, but not great, but perfectly adequate for lunch. We later ate twice at Pizzeria Bell’Mbriana, just opposite Neuro, and this was a wonderful place, with great pizza and excellent service. M still waxes on about the gorgonzola pizza he had there!

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Over the course of the next few days, we took 2 day trips as well as just enjoyed a leisurely exploration of Polignano, with lots of time to just chill out. Weather was mild but changeable, with some rain, some sun, and lots of dramatic clouds!

More to come!!

















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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 10:11 AM
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Around town...



Entry to the apartment building


Apartment entry




Around Polignano a Mare


Around Polignano a Mare


Around Polignano a Mare


Nighttime on the piazza


Statue of Domenico Modugno, Italian singer and author of the song, "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu", known as "Volare", who was born in Polignano a Mare in 1928


Lyrics, Volare, strung up along Via Roma


Lyrics, Volare, strung up along Via Roma


Nighttime - off to dinner




Cala Porto, at night


Oh the views everywhere!


Climbing among the rocks


Climbing among the rocks


Location of our Airbnb!


Morning pastry! So good (and so rich!)

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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 10:15 AM
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Thank progol, I am following .

The pictures are great as usual.

Thank Goodness you got the vehicle charges canceled.!

What was the boat ride like from Dubrovnik to Italy.?

Thanks for starting your Italy thread

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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 10:17 AM
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Moody Polignano....
Changing from moment to moment














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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 10:19 AM
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Wow I just posted , and more pictures came.

Thank You !
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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Percy View Post
Thank progol, I am following .

The pictures are great as usual.

Thank Goodness you got the vehicle charges canceled.!

What was the boat ride like from Dubrovnik to Italy.?

Thanks for starting your Italy thread
Thanks, Percy!!
We were absolutely unaware of the ferry actually traveling! We went to sleep by 10pm and it hadn't yet sailed, though it was scheduled to leave at 9pm. We arrived sometime in the wee hours - probably around 6am or so, but I wasn't exactly fully awake when we were getting ready to go. I believe it's about an 8-hour ride, so that makes sense. It was smooth sailing!

One more "moody blues" photo because I like these photos a lot and can't decide which ones are my favorites:


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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 12:45 PM
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<<One more "moody blues" photo because I like these photos a lot and can't decide which ones are my favorites>
-------------------------

Well they are all my favorites.

When you have pictures this great......just keep them all.

Thanks , you sure are having( had ) a nice trip.

What time of the year did you go. ?

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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Percy View Post
<<One more "moody blues" photo because I like these photos a lot and can't decide which ones are my favoritesgt;>
-------------------------

Well they are all my favorites.

When you have pictures this great......just keep them all.

Thanks , you sure are having( had ) a nice trip.

What time of the year did you go. ?
We left mid-September for Croatia, traveled to Italy the night of October 4, and returned October 20 from Naples. The weather in Croatia was spectacular, Italy was mild but slightly cool for the time of year.
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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 01:33 PM
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wow!! This place looks absolutely gorgeous!!! I hope we can make it here some day. So much to see and not enough time. I will see it vicariously through you for now.
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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 03:39 PM
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Buona sera. Joining you on your trip through southern Italy, a part of the country we've yet to visit.
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Old Jan 4th, 2022, 04:53 PM
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KarenWoo, there are sooo many gorgeous places! Italy has enough for several lifetimes! I feel “so much to see and not enough time” more and more these days… but I do enjoy going through my photos to remember what we actually did get to see and do.

tripplanner, glad you’re here to share the trip with me! I hope you get to south Italy sooner or later.
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 07:34 AM
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Never been down to this Southeastern side of Italy, so I will enjoy it through your eyes and your pictures.

Is there such a thing as a "bad" place in Italy !!!!...I think not.

I will be following . Thanks
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 09:34 AM
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Stunning. Repeat a million times. Sighing, as always, for Bella Italia. 😍📸
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 11:00 AM
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Percy, it's all wonderful! I haven't run into a "bad" place in Italy yet!

TDudette, thank you! I'm sighing, too, as I look back on the photos.
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 11:24 AM
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Wednesday, October 6
The day started off with our lovely pastry and cappuccino at Martinucci, thanks to the vouchers that Domenico provided. And then, we were off for a day of exploration! And what a great day we had - we visited Alberobello, Locorotondo, and Monopoli. Tiring, but satisfying.

First stop: Alberobello
One can’t visit Puglia and miss seeing the trulli, these remarkable dry-stone dwellings. Alberobello has the greatest concentration of these structures, although they can be seen throughout the region. There are at least 1500 in Alberobello, which has been designated a as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a bit like landing in Hobbitville!
Of course, it is a popular destination and it’s got a Disneyland feel with all the tourist shops up and down the Main Street. But touristy though it is, it is remarkable to see these buildings!

We parked and paid for a couple of hours, went to the "less touristy" side - that is, the side without the tourist shops - and, though there were tourists about, it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded. As we drove closer, we spotted many along the way, though Alberobello is the epicenter of the trulli.























Yes, some residents do open their homes to tourists - there's no charge, but of course, one leaves a tip.








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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 11:50 AM
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Locorotondo

A short drive from Alberobello, we came to Locorotondo, called 'Borghi più belli d'Italia' (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy). It is very pretty, a town practically entirely in white, from its buildings to the white stone streets. We stopped for a lovely lunch and, while there, chanced upon a wedding party. Looks almost like a movie set with a beautiful bride against the backdrop of the town. A lovely place to stop that feels surprisingly quiet. A good place to stop to while away some time.


It really is that pretty!






Sitting down to lunch - we paid cash, so I don't remember the name, but it was very good


sitting down to lunch






A wedding party!



Isn't she lovely? Bellisima!









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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 01:50 PM
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WOW, it seems that is all I keep saying when I see your photos. The dry stone dwellings are unique, never seen anything like that. This probably a stupid question, the photos of the apartment show a ladder. Is that how you got to the bedroom? If so, I would be in big trouble.

As ever, wonderful, keep it up.

Judy
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 02:41 PM
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Judy,
I think EVERYONE asks about that ladder! It goes up to a storage loft but is really a decorative element for renters. The bedroom is, happily, on the same level as the rest of the apartment.

Thanks for continuing to follow this! I’m glad you’re still enjoying the photos! It keeps me going!
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 03:18 PM
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I will echo Judy! WOW!!!!! Your photos are beautiful and the villages are spectacular!!! Never heard of those stone dwellings. Exactly where are you in Italy right now? I have never heard of these places. I used to work as a travel agent many years ago and I read guidebooks, trip reports, and I used to subscribe to several travel magazines but I am completely ignorant about this part of Italy. Beautiful bride and beautiful wedding dress!!!
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 03:24 PM
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Yes, keep it coming - please. I am enjoying every bit of it. And you're giving me ideas!
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