Tag Archives: sun

Polignano a mare

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Polignano a Mare is a small town few km far from Bari, the main city in Apulia, a region in South italy.

It’s easy to reach Polignano, in fact Bari has an international airport with low cost flights.

You might consider to visit one of the most amazing town in italy. I’ll never give up with this: italy is not Venice, Florence, roma…

There is so much to see, every little town has something to offer and South italy, even more, in terms of history, coastal and seaside beauties, out-standing food, good wine…

If ancient greeks and romans used to spend their vacation in South italy, well…there should be some reasons!!!! 🙂

11707583_581683345307686_7064910204274478781_nPolignano a mare is ideal for a day trip, for a weekend or even for a short-term spring/summer holiday.

It is mostly about the sea, relax and food.

The city itself, the old part, stays on the scenic cliffs. You can find one of the most amazing restaurant in Europe, built inside the limestone rock, with a natural view of the sea.

Imagine a deep blue sea, white small houses in mediterranean style and warm sun welcoming you every day, this is Polignano a mare!

Moreover there are 2 things that make Polignano a mare even more UNIQUE:

po-Best ice cream, ever! Believe me!

Everybody knows that italian ice cream is the best and there should be a place where it is better than everywhere else. This place is Bar Turismo, in Polignano!

Believe it or not, in an old, small, un-trendy and (not intentionally) ‘vintage’ bar, you will find a man who will serve you the most delicious gelato on earth!

Ice cream here is prepared with the original ARTISANAL recipe, not with industrial powders ( as in 99,99% of other premises). Few ingredients:  milk, eggs, sugar, adding the main ingredients, according to the final taste, chocolate, nuts, coffee…

Long story-short, find this little bar, just before entering the old town, ask for chocolate and nuts ice-cream, with home-made coffee cream. Eat it inside the bar or nearby. Now if you are brave enough, leave without ordering another one! I’m sure you’ll be happy to find yourself weak and go inside for a new gelato! 🙂

10984102_10207362940696052_8899573994417624889_n-Voooooolaaaareeee!

Could you tell me the most famous and well known italian song?

‘Nel Blu dipinto di blu, (VOLARE)’ most likely it is the song that everybody associate with italy (over 22 milions copies sold all over the world). Well, the author and singer of the song is Domenico Modugno, born in Polignano (9/1/1928), one of the best italian music artist, ever.

He was (together with Renato Carosone) the only italian singer able to sell his songs to the american market, in the original italian version. I don’t remember any other post with a music video, this time I have to do it 🙂

Please enjoy these incredibly nice songs, I’m sure they will bring a sudden happiness:

Nel blu dipinto di Blu     Malarazza  Vecchio Frack  Tu si’ ‘na cosa grande

If it wasn’t enough…

poli

poligna

polign

pol

polig

 

 

Grottaglie: sun, ceramics, wine, street-art, food, oil…

11659259_584376468371707_1423215247769718508_nRaise your hand if you have ever heard of Grottaglie? I bet only few of you can, and that’s a real pity!

Grottaglie is the capital of ceramic in South italy.

The town can be reached via air through 2 airports, Bari and Brindisi, both within less than 100 km.

It’s a beautiful, though not touristic, town in Apulia, a region that has been re-named by british as salentoshire and trullishire, due to the raising number of english travellers in love with this region.

And I can’t agree more!

There are so many reasons to visit this land, I’ll try to list few:

-Weather

Expect a warm sun, almost the whole year, during summer time, expect a really warm weather! 🙂

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– Landscape

Ionian sea is only 20 km far, it’s the most beautiful sea in continental italy. Adriatic sea is only 60 km far. Ideal for an affordable coast-to-coast. In land is very green and refreshing, with pine forests, fertile soil to grow olives,  tomatoes, almonds and every good product.

Another interesting caratheristic are the ‘gravine’ kind of caves in natural canyons, where the ancient population lived many centuries ago

10426306_583488435127177_4928090071757577982_n-Food and wine

You might not be aware of the fact that an high % of the wine produced in italy has a base made with grapes from this land. The wine ‘Primitivo di Manduria’ (a town far only few km from Grottaglie) is a must to try.

As mentioned in the landscape, here you can try wonderful BIO products from agriculture. Tomatoes, almonds, grapes, olives, all sort of salads, watermelon and so on…

My recommendation is to enjoy a great dinner at ‘Casa Lacorte‘, in the historical part of the town. This newly open restaurant has an amazing terrace and also the internal part is very nice. A must to try is the fave’s cream (see picture)!

streetart-Street-art

Grottaglie has one of the biggest historical centre in the whole region.

Few years ago a talented and smart young local decided to invite the most famous street artists from Europe, to redecorate streets and buildings.

Unfortunately the festival (FAME) had been active only for few years, however the pieces of ART are still visible all around the town.

Take a stroll and admire all of them, there are many huge graffiti taking the whole building, as well as smaller ones.

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-Ceramic

Art lovers will find Grottaglie a paradise also for its ceramics.

The city is considered the ‘capital’ of this ancient art.

There is a nice neighborhood/district all dedicated to small stands and shops, where you can fine real pieces of handcraft art.

Everywhere entrance is free, feel free to ask about the products (however english is not widely spoken, you know italians :)…), take pictures and admire the steps of the long process and creation of a ceramic pitchers, jars, urns…

Grottaglie has an old castle, entrance is free together with its museum of ceramics.

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Despite the evident language barriers, do not hesitate to ask for any information.

Locals are incredibly nice and kind and will do their best to help out.

The atmosphere in town is really easy-going, we are in deep South italy, stress is something far from the daily life.

Expect shops to be closed after lunch, until 16 or even 17, because ‘siesta’ is not only a spanish habbit!

Best meeting point for a nice chat with locals is Bar delle Torri. The owners, Ciro and Saverio have created a very pleasant place where to have a drink and in general, good time.

1610955_581683475307673_437586920087772042_n-Extra virgin olive oil

Well…this is something that you should try!

Here is the best place at very good price.

Malta: sea & sun!

1796637_462088437267178_1926332498345425522_n Malta is an incredible island in the heart of Mediterranean sea.

The island is small, from the northern point to the southern there are only 20 km…however you will have many things to do and see.

This was my second time in the island and I haven’t visited yet Gozo and Comino, the other 2 smaller islands, because, there are so many things to do and when you stay in Malta you want to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere too. Then, no hurry!

Malta is well-connected to the rest of Europe, many low-cost flights are available, once you visit the island you will return back…

Malta has not only sea and sun, cultural sightseeing will take you busy as well, with a huge number of historical churches, a visit at the former capital,  Mdnia and at the actual one, Valletta (UNESCO World Heritage site for the massive number of historical buildings found in a tiny space).

I suggest buying a public transportation ticket. A ticket valid for 7 days costs only 6,50 Euro!

1620625_461125447363477_628086318804616917_nIf you are planning to spend some days in Malta, I can only recommend one place: Hostel Malti!

This hostel is managed by Chris and Aaron, two incredibly friendly guys. They will give you all the info and advises regarding the island and make you feel at home in their hostel.

Often they organize some events such as parties, BBQ, daily trips, drinking nights…

The hostel is located in the nightlife district, S. Julien, very close to public bus stops and rocks beaches. Everything you need is at walking distance.

A chill-out roof terrace, with a jacuzzi available for guests will do the rest, eventually you will return at Hostel Malti!

10599517_462088470600508_9099949678220244038_nVisit Blue Grotto!

From Hostel Malti, take bus going to Valletta’s HUB (nr. 12 and 13), then take a bus to Zurrieq (71) and from there to Blue grotto. It’s easier to do than to be explained. In any case maltese people and bus drivers are very friendly and they will give you all the info and help you might need.

It’s a fantastic day trip. I haven’t done it entirely, as I didn’t feel like a tourist. 🙂

However there are small traditional boats, with cheerful Maltese skippers, which will bring you to these big natural caves, you can admire them from the famous deep blue waters…The boat ride costs 8 euros per person. More info here.

 

10710852_462088710600484_3410572031003751732_nSunset at Dingli cliffs!

Another terrific day trip, with wonderful views, is at the Dingli cliffs.

From Rabat’s autobus hub you can catch bus nr. 201 that brings you to the stunning cliffs.

With friends or just by yourself, try to get there in the late afternoon, maybe carry a bottle of wine and wait for the sunset…

Hiking is a pleasant activity to do in the island.

From and to Dingli you can enjoy a walk in the surrounding area, in the maltese countryside.

10702199_461125337363488_6953359544170101251_nRelax and have fun at S. Julien district.

It’s known to be the active area of the small island, prefered by youngsters for its nightlife.

In fact bars, restaurants and clubs are widely spread in this village. Night is long here!

However I rather enjoyed the ‘brightest’ side of the place, during the day.

In the early morning you can walk along the promenade, there will be many doing jogging, same as in the evening.

During warm hours the flat rocks are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and read a book, while the sun is ‘kissing’ you…

Malta will surprise you, there are many activities to be done, according to your tastes. Outdoor sports, nightlife, good food are always available for your amusement.

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