Puglia [14]

Sunday, 7 July 2013 

I have just returned from a 2 week holiday (within a holiday) in the sunny south of Italy.
Puglia is quite environmentally different from Bologna up north, and the people are quite different as well. After a crushing 8 hour drive and a 45 euro highway toll, we were finally granted a view of this Italian paradise that most of civilisation has seemed to have left alone.

The first thing you notice about Puglia is the smell. The air smells sweet, clean and fresh, and the soil is rich and red. The vegetation is also more Mediterranean with grapes, tomatoes, melons and figs being grown everywhere.

The houses are built out of stone with litt

le cones on top, and they are called ‘Trulli’. The thick stone walls keep the house naturally cool even in the heat of the Pugliese sun and in the valley we were staying in there is was a constant refreshing breeze.

The food of Puglia is fresh and delicious and includes such things as ‘Bombetta’ (little crumbed meat packages), mozarella and tomato pasta, and a little folded over pizza thing called Panzerotto. The towns are all really small, old and beautiful with twisting mazes of alleyways, tiny mysterious doors and dead-ends.

As far as the people are concerned, they can be considered the bogans/rednecks of Italy. They are fiercely passionate about their food, really loud, often fat and they close up shop to have a 5 hour siesta from midday, which I like the idea of but its also really inconvenient when you want to buy something.

We divided our time mostly between going out for delicious yet incredibly cheap meals, exploring the local towns, going to the beach, trying the local wines and chilling under the starry night sky. Most of the people we met were other holidaymakers from across Italy who are usually relatively well-off and own a small holiday house in Puglia and come down every year to get away from the city. We even went to a party in a massive villa made up of wealthy successful working Italians who were also taking an opportunity to get wasted on the free alcohol and enjoy the food. We also took some time to explore the many tiny abandoned Trulli from many years ago that were most likely built by nomadic people and then later simply left alone to stand the test of time.

So now what are my plans for the future? In the short term, I will be taking a flight on the 17th of July from Bologna to Amsterdam to attend a festival called Electronic Family with some friends, which features my favourite music in the world- Trance Music. I will also get a good chance to see some of Holland which I have heard is quite a pleasant, fun and forward-thinking country.And then comes the long-term strategy- initially I had planned to stay in Europe and find myself a travel job, save up some money and continue my travels. However getting a job and sustaining myself here
would take a lot of time and commitment especially considering the currently economic situation. I have realised that is probably time now for me to look more seriously at a future career and tertiary education if I want to facilitate any more future travel endeavours, as opposed to scraping by on odd jobs here and there. This will also bring more financial stability, a sense of purpose and direction in my life, and something to work towards! Not to mention meeting like-minded and interesting people, and increasing my future job prospects. I have learnt, especially with my time spent in Italy, that education is an important privilege entitled to only a lucky minority, and if given the opportunity it should be taken. And even that considered, I am lucky enough to come from a country not suffering overly as a result of the economic crisis. So taking that into consideration, it might finally be time for me to take a little break from travelling for a while, and pursue some new opportunities! And thats as far as I have gotten so far 🙂

Small moments in life
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