Category Archives: italy

Taranto, the ancient italian Sparta!

tarHere you are a brief description of Taranto, a city you might want to visit in Apulia:

-Taranto is the main city of its own county.

An ancient history, one of the first greek colony and, around 500 BC, one of the largest in the world, with population estimates up to 300,000 people.

castTaranto is known as “The Spartan City” because it was the only colony ever founded by Sparta, in 706 BC.
Currently it’s the third largest city in continental South (not including Sicily and Sardinia).
The city is also known as the “city of two seas” because it is washed by the Ionian Sea (called Great sea) and by the vast reservoir of the ‘Little Sea’.
Taranto offers many interesting activities:

 

taOld town tour, this part of the city is connected by two bridges (one is mobile, called ‘swing bridge’ – ponte girevole) to the land.

The bridge is opened to let the big navy boat ether to exit or enter the city depot centre.

It’s an island (not natural, though).

Currently the condition of this part of the city is not the best, for years was almost abandoned by its population.

Many buildings are in ruins, however it’s very interesting to walk from one point to another to see a genuine lower class lifestyle and conditions.

Many fishermen families still live here.

casCastle FREE visit.

Aragonese Castle was built in the 15th century with the intention to protect the town from the Turks’ frequent raids.

The castle replaced a pre-existing fort which was deemed unfit for 15th century warfare.

Nowadays is a navy military base.

Tours in english are available too! It will be a couple of hours of interesting information about the city.

tabBest beer in Taranto: TABIR!

Everytime I visit the city, if I want a beer, I only go to Tabir.

This is where you get ONLY best beers available.

No commercial beers, only from small breweries and/or quality ones.

The owner is a real beer lover and expert and he’ll be happy to guide you to the best combination of drink and food (all local products!)

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Puglia/Apulia: I’m back!

11701173_10207406608827728_7323482673874866541_nMy European low-budget/backpacking tour is over since November, last year.

I’m back to reality, to an office job and daily routine. Not everything is wrong with these changes of life. I met love, which makes me happy even during my boring working life… 🙂

This summer was the right time to show my favorite region to my Eva, and I would like to highlight it as well to my few readers. She felt in LOVE with deep SOUTH italy.

I’m going to write few lines in the next days, letting the pictures speaking the most.

Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy the view of Puglia.

Soon I’ll post more pictures about:

-Polignano a mare, city of Domenico Modugno and his legendary song, Voooolareeee!

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-Alberobello, capital of the ‘trulli’ region

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-Jonio sea, best sea of continental italy!

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-Grottaglie, city of ceramic

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-Taranto, ancient Sparta colony

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-Ostuni, the ‘white pearl’ and Locorotondo, among the 100 most beautiful villeges in italy

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Alghero, Sardinia

11039147_530664803742874_101330427744047280_nNot easy to get back in the writing habit! My last post was something like 4 months ago and many things changed since then.

Don’t want to bore my 4 dear readers but let me tell you something related to this post, a nice italian song from the golden 80’s said ‘…voglio andare ad Alghero…in compagnia di uno straniero…’, which means ‘wanna go to Alghero with a foreigner companion’.

Well, I did it and my foreigner companion is my beloved girlfriend from Slovakia. I hope a bit of gossip could help rising my followers and contacts 🙂

Anyways, let me start describing Alghero, a small city in Sardinia, the second biggest island in the mediterranean sea (after Sicily), with a very close airport with several low-cost flights from all over Europe.

11020219_530664763742878_7211438228394242670_nAlghero is famous for its dialect with catalan’ roots and for its red coral jewelery. The nice city is a very well-known touristic destination, during summer there are many visitors, enjoying the beautiful beaches, sun, good food and nightlife

For this reason I decided to go off-season. Plus I needed a short break after the long polish winter…oh yes! this would be my second gossip news that I’ll treat in more details in the next posts.

To be honest in this period of the year many restaurants, bars and other premises are closed, awaiting for the peak season, however for a budget traveller like me it wasn’t such a big deal.

10428455_530981770377844_4253553592532687707_nI could enjoy the more genuine city soul, local people were happy to see tourists and like to take care of them.

I happened to stop in a small bar (nearby the cathedral) for a couple of glasses of ‘cannonau‘ and ‘buio‘, sardinian good quality wines, receiving appetizers and snacks, mostly from genuine local products, such as olives, ‘pane curasau‘, sausages, ‘pecorino‘ cheese…

The same happened in the small B&B run by Giovanni (info@ilramorosso.it), where I spent 4 nights in a double bed room, for 28Euro/night.

Every morning the owner was preparing a tasty breakfast with local bread, cheese, vegetables, organic extra virgin oil, fresh baked pastries…

spiaggiaWhat to do in Alghero?

In summer, no doubts!

Enjoy the sea and the beaches. Sardinian sea is considered the most beautiful in Europe.

Long white sands beaches are all along the northern cost.

The most famous beach is ‘spiaggia delle bombarde‘, few km far from the city.

Other beaches are ‘Mugoni‘, Lazzaretto, Lido

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Something not to be missed is definitely ‘Capo Caccia‘ and its famous ‘Grotte di Nettuno’, a natural cave accessible either via sea (with organized boat tour, only with good weather!) or via the spectacular ‘Escala del Cabirol’ – Cabirol steps.

You will never forget about its 600 steps, effort paid back by an incredible view.

Capo Caccia is a beautiful cliffs at the end of a natural fiord.

There is also a very nice spot where to enjoy a breathtaking sunset…

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11025156_532291290246892_5960671858395072028_n  Alghero has an atmospheric old town, surrounded and protected by ancient walls ‘bastioni’. A relaxing walk will be a very pleasant surprise for you.

Narrow streets, with numerous bars, cafes, restaurants (renowned for excellent seafood like spaghetti with sea urchins) and small artisanal shops.

There are also interesting markets with food and local products, during the week-days.

The road from Alghero to Bosa, a smaller town towards the south coast is also worth, for the beautiful view.

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Last but not least, let me suggest to try the sardinian beer ‘Ichnusa’.

Italian beers are not that bad, after all… 🙂