Europe,  Italy

Apulia – what to expect

You may have noticed that I’m writing down my expectations everywhere I go. I did that for the first time when I was going to Thailand, compared with reality when I came back and it was a really fun thing to do. What to expect when you go to Apulia? That’s a good question. I was expecting typical southern Italy – slightly chaotic and with no pressure to rush anywhere. And nothing more. So this time it will be a bit different. I’m skipping my expectations which I had before the trip and I’m leaving you with Apulian reality only. Of course it’s based on my 4 days spent there, not a lifetime. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Apulia:

Bari is cool

And it was a big surprise. I had no expectations at all. I didn’t know a lot about the city, I was reading a bit but no one was raving about Bari. Actually, I found one article saying that you either love Bari or hate it. And I’m in the first group.

Have you ever dreamed about going to a typical Italian town? Like the one you see in the movies? You know, narrow streets, laundry on balconies, mamma is making pasta and you can hear Italian songs? Go to Bari! Add a tiny chapel on every corner, pasta drying outside and you’re in Bari. The best part? We were staying in the old town and even though we didn’t warn our host that we’re on our way, she came 30 seconds after we arrived, waving from the distance. Apparently, the mammamonitoring works well!

And when the sun went down and mammas disappeard from their chairs in front of houses, restaurants opened and all of the sudden streets are crowded. Especially on a Saturday. And it was cool.

Apulia is cool

When you’re on a plane and looking through the window, Apulia looks like a one big olive grove. And a vineyards. And an orchard. All at once. With mountains, sea and white towns. Add extremely blue sky and southern sun – amazing, isn’t it? Is there anyone who doesn’t like it? Go away. Apulia is beautiful. If only it had better roads…

Roads are terrible

They really are. I haven’t seen roads this bad in a long long time. It looks more like cheese, crater, grater (that’s a terrible rhyme), insert something else with an extremely uneven surface. The road from Polignano a Mare to Matera was awful. The firm suspension in our car wasn’t helping at all. Ok, if this road was bad, maybe the highway would be better? Not really. Road works with no workers, speed limit 40km/h.

Food is hard to find

It wasn’t an issue when I went to lake Garda. Food was everywhere. In Apulia it wasn’t that easy. In the south of Italy siesta is siesta and Italians take it seriously. In theory nothing is happening until 7pm. Nothing. But that’s just a theory. In fact majority of restaurants open around 9pm. Forget about grabing a calzone on the go during the day. Or maybe I was just unlucky.

Apulia is white

What goes well with a bright sun and the bluest sky you have ever seen? White buildings, it’s pretty obvious. Apulia is white and it’s one of the reasons why it looks so good. Well, that’s actually what you expect from a region in the south, right? Towns are white, funny round trullo houses are white. Love it.

Tourists are Italians

And this is a really interesting fact. The majority of tourists were Italians. Sure, we saw few Asian tours, some Germans and French, people from our plane, but it wasn’t as touristy as other parts of Italy. Maybe it’s the shoulder season (end of September), but it was a really nice and surprising change – hearing almost only Italian in Italy.

Conclusion: Apulia is great

And that’s it. See you later!

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