Southern Italy (12-30 Nov 2019)

Drove to Gatwick only to find the car park has introduced a height restriction without telling us! Mild panic and some quick re-arranging and we just about got to our flight in time. Arrived at Bari picked up the hire cary easily. Found our overnight accomodation (very nice – and cheap) and grabbed a meal at a great Greek restaurant. Liked Bari very much – the Old Town was terrific – worth a visit. After a morning in town we took off to meet our friend Angela at Spinazzola. She kindly put us up in her mum’s vacant apartment that has terrific views. We were also treated to a pizza with her friends Mattau and his wife and gladly received a gift of homemade wine and biscuits. Lovely people.

Breakfast in Bari
Spinazzola from our apartment

The following day we took a road trip with Angela to Trani (LOVED the place), Polignano (not so impressed) and Monopoli (even less impressed). Don’t get me wrong, they’re all really nice … but this is Southern Italy where ‘really nice’ doesn’t quite cut it. A great whistle stop tour and lovely to spend time with our freinds in Spinazzola

Trani – told you it was nice!
Angela! Even nicer!

.But then it was off to our Workaway with Esther and Richard near Matera … we drove a couple of hours and eventually found the house – a magnificent Casiera at the top of a hill in a very remote area. Esther and Richard greeted us warmly and welcomed us into their stunning house.

Like I said … a stunning house!

The next 2 weeks were spent pruning (olives, pomegranites, roses and fig trees), failing to repair a massive parasol, digging a drainage ditch, repointing walls, netting roof tiles to keep the birds out. It turns out paradise needs a lot of up-keep. We were presented with fabulous meals each day and the views at all times were amazing. The local towns were stunning – Matera (the Sassi area is a phenomenal place – James Bond “No Time To Die” among others was filmed there) and we also really enjoyed Montescaglioso – totally unspoilt southern Italian hill top town.

The Sassi in Matera seen from inside a cave on the opposite side of the valley

Sad to leave but we felt like we’d made some good friends.

Richard, Bimba and Esther

We headed back to Bari and made a rendezvous with Angela who introduced us to her friend Tommy. “Meet for lunch”. We thought that meant a restaurant where we would be able to treat them both to a meal … no – Tommy took us back to his apartment where he had prepared a magnificent lunch of local produce. Utterly amazing. First time he’d met us yet we were treated like royalty. So welcoming and generous it made us feel very humble. What a fantastic end to our time in Italy.

Tommy! Amazing!