So, our Italy road trip took us further south. We drove from Tuscany, through the impressive, green hills of Umbria, into Le Marche, where we picked up the Autostrada del sole… what a promise!
My passion for Tuscany, reignited and Kyle’s passion for Tuscany discovered, we tried to maintain open minds, as we drove south to even warmer climes. From Le Marche, we reached Abruzzo – a previously discovered region, with much low-priced property, but in spite of its awe-inspiring mountainous landscape, it didn’t quite hit the spot for Kyle or I. Ideal for those who enjoy mountainous living and appreciate the white stuff (snow, that is…)
We continued south out of Abruzzo having dipped toes in the ocean at Vasto and Termoli and into Molise and down into north western Puglia via Campobasso. Our first evening Puglia saw us arrive on the outskirts of Lucera…
Our initial thoughts were along the lines of Baghdad or Beirut… until we got through the affordable concrete housing into the town centre – as it ever was… Our incredible accommodation was in an old palazzo, where we took gracious possession of a suite of rooms with painted ceilings and room to swing a pack of lions.
Lucera itself is lovely; a small town with enough streets to satisfy the Italian passeggiata – also known as ‘il struscio’, which comes from the swishing sound of ladies’ skirts, as they walked, at the turn of the last century! Just to remind you of the lyrical approach Italians take to evolving their language…
With a serene white cathedral marking the centre of the town and the obligatory castle on the edge of the town, the restaurant choice is superb and people unsurprisingly friendly. Well worth a day trip or two.
The next day saw us trawling the northern Puglian countryside to understand the lie of the land – literally, to see if there was somewhere we needed to lay our hat… The far south of the province is flat, with little else inland, other than calming olive groves and fields of durham wheat. Although there is a serenity to the flat olive groves, the landscape may not appeal to everyone, so we wanted to understand what else the region could deliver.