Luglio a Puglia

Polignano a Mare

I went to Puglia this summer. Like seemingly the rest of the blog and travel and media world who have saturated your Instagram feeds and Feedly backlog with photos of turquoise water, orecchiete studded with broccoli rabe and crumbling churches.

Why Puglia? On one hand, it seems to be the last safe not-Tuscany-but-will-be-soon. Last summer Umbria suffered a catastrophic earthquake, from which they're still rebuilding. Nearly a decade ago, L'aquila in Abbruzzo suffered an earthquake as well. And so we go to Puglia, which, for now, seems safe. (We're ignoring last summer's train crash, after all, what anglophone media outlet cares about Italy's crumbling train infrastructure? Rent a Fiat or an Alfa! Rent a Vespa!).

I took the train. I took the train and went to Alberobello and Lecce, but also to Bari and Taranto and Matera because even though it's not in Puglia, it's close enough. Here are some of my favorite photos.

Over the Sassi di Matera
The view of the Sassi di Matera from our accommodation. What was once deemed the epitome of all that was wrong with

Via Duca di Genova
Via Duca di Genova in Taranto, Puglia

Casa a Bari
I was obsessed with this bold, graphic house on the main street in Bari.

Want a photo sans-tourists from Alberobello? This is what you'll get. The city's so-called trulli zone is a UNESCO world heritage sight and is accordingly swarmed with tourists gaping at the picturesque conical houses.

Una strada a Lecce
I loved Lecce! It's a small city and surprisingly cosmpolitan. Plenty of interesting, independent shops and restaurants that you're more used to seeing in London than in Italy.

Via Toledo
At the end of the trip we went to Naples, which we'd been to before but were excited to see again. When I went last time it was my first real experience of the South and I loved it. Having been to Sicily, Puglia and Basilicata, I must say I was less enamoured, but still enjoyed my time there.

Taranto was such a surprise—and I loved it. The city had barely any tourism to speak of, a single bridge to get from the old town to the new town and a museum of anicent Greek artifacts that was easily the most impressive museum I'd encountered in Italy.

Accanto al castello Normanno-Svevo a Bari
I'd been curious about Bari for quite sometime and enjoyed my time there, though I wouldn't recommend it unreservedly. If you're looking to convince someone that Southern Italy can resemble Northern Italy, send them to Bari.