Sometimes I don’t choose to travel, travels choose me. So I’ve decided to tell you more about an adventure I had this summer. And the only people I’ve to thank for it are my parents.
It was mid-July when I finally came back to Italy after finishing my university year in England and working around Europe for about a month. I landed in Milan Malpensa at 10 at night, where my parents were picking me up. Leaving in the middle of nowhere in the mountains has its silver linings: surely it’s pretty cool to see the Dolomites from your bedroom’s window and to see beautiful landscapes all around you, you don’t have to worry too much about smog and pollution and go for a hike whenever you want, notwithstanding the fact that you have ski slopes for the winter and lakes for the summer. But, as I said, you’re in the middle of nowhere, and that gets a little bit annoying when you want to travel. So Milan Malpensa, the biggest airport in northern Italy, it’s 3 h 30 m by car away from my house, and it would take about 8 hours with public transportation. So my parents must always pick me up from some airport.
After working with teenagers and having slept an average of 5 hours per night for 20 days, as soon as I entered my dad’s car I pretty much passed out. So it wasn’t until the morning, when I woke up still in the car and saw the sea instead of mountains out of the window, that I realized we weren’t going home.
Indeed, my mom had had a pretty cool idea: pick me up and go straight to the sea. Not just this surprise shocked me, but also the fact that, for the first time in years, my parents had not simply decided for the “closest-place-the-important-is-we-have-sun-relax-and-salted-water”, but has chose to drive about 10 hours at night, switching behind the wheel, to go to the beautiful Italian region called Puglia, which is situated in what can be considered the heel of Italy.
I love to travel to discover the world, but discovering Italy may be what I enjoy the most. Because it’s not just surprise and curiosity and marvel, it’s also pride of belonging to such a beautiful country!
I had never been more south than Napoli, so this was a new experience for me as well. And I recommend everybody to go to Puglia. My mother chose to stay in an apartment, which is an amazing alternative to a hotel: you can eat whenever you want, as much as you want, wearing whatever you want. And not having to go to dinner at hotel you can easily choose to get a pizza take away or go out and eat some fresh fish.
So I stayed for (only) one week in the beautiful bay under the village of Peschici, which was built on top of a rocky promontory in the Adriatic sea. Our main goal was to relax and get tanned, so we didn’t really get to go around. But the village itself is amazing: tiny white houses, most of them without a pointy roof, stuck almost in a random way on the white rocks. I have no words to describe how beautiful, war and colorful it is: even if all the houses are white, the colors look so much brighter than what I’m used too. And the sun is so hot, than even if I was already tanned a little bit and usually tan pretty easily without burning, I got pretty badly sunburnt (mostly because the first day I fell asleep under the sun before remembering to put on sunscreen!).
I only hope the pictures will do some justice to this place. Because even if I was in the some country where I was born, it felt like being somewhere else. And most of all it reminded me, an Italian myself, that Italy is not just the romantic Venezia, the chaotic Milano, the marvelous ancient Roma, the beautifully decadent Napoli, but it’s also some little village lost among the Dolomites or some fishermen’s village clinging on some promontory in the middle of the Adriatic sea, with all their amazing different cultures and tradition. Damn, I love my country!