Monday, April 13, 2015

Italy 2015: What We Did

When people asked us where we were planning to go for Spring Break, I'd excitedly tell them, "Italy!"  They'd ask us what we'd DO there, and without hesitation, I told them "NOTHING."  We rented a car to get to the Masseria, and figured we'd just take a few hours each day for a short excursion.  Some of those days, the only thing we did was go for a walk on the property.  Other days we drove to a neighboring town to see the sea from a new perspective.  But we really did get very little done, and that was what we set out to do.  Never once did we drive more than a half hour away from the apartment.  And most nights we were home in time to prepare a and eat a meal, then get in our pj's before the sun went down.

The region in which we stayed has small villages very near to one another.  All with amazing sights, many churches, restaurants, bars, and gelaterias.

I thought I might like to bring home some linens or ceramics as souvenirs, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we couldn't usually get OUT of the apartment early enough to do any serious shopping from the local artisans.  We'd usually be ready to head into a town right at lunch time.  We'd arrive, grab a pizza or something similar, and by the time we finished eating, all the shops would be closing for the afternoon riposo, and by the time they'd open up again, we'd be ready to go home for dinner.  If we had stayed longer than a week, I think we might have been able to adjust our lazy time of the day to be in the early afternoon, instead of right after rolling out of bed.  But because we had very little "shopping" opportunities (something my kids are GLAD they didn't have to do), we got more family quality time.    Here are some pics of us doing life during riposo in several Puglian towns while on our vacation...

Monopoli, Puglia, Italy

Monopoli

Monopoli

Best Spaghetti, ever!  Porto Rossa, Monopoli

The most dignified spaghetti eater.

Monopoli

Monopoli. 
The entrance to a Gelateria. Monopoli


Collecting Sea Glass. Monopoli.

Too many treasures! Monopoli

Monopoli.

La Lira. Alberobello, Puglia.

Alberobello, Puglia

Alberobello Trulli--the unique roofs are stacked with no mortar.  Pretty amazing structures!

Alberobello, Puglia


Downtown Alberobello, Puglia. Feeding the fish.


Saint Anthony Church. Alberobello, Puglia

Little brother just tasted a green olive!

Looks like his DAD did.  Also likes lasagna much better than green olives.
This was at Bella 'Mbriana, Polignano a Mare. The rest of us had pizza.  The best pizza of the trip!

Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare 
Polignano a Mare

Gelato! Irvi's Cafe. Polignano a Mare.  




South Monopoli.  We found a single speckled egg out in the wide open on the cliffs of the Adriatic.
Not quite sure what bird it is, but maybe a type of killdeer?  We told the boys it was a Penguin.
It was April Fools Day, so... had to keep it going for a while.

South Monopoli

South Monopoli

South Monopoli

South Monopoli

This is the end of another April Fool's joke.  Little brother got me good.
If you ask me nicely, I might tell the story some time!

Marco showing little bro how to pick a lemon. Monopoli.

This mandarin came from a nearby tree.  BEST mandarin I've had! Monopoli.

At the Masseria Spina.  Monopoli.

Our sky-blue Fiat for the week. Monopoli.

This is Torre Incine.  Monopoli. It belongs to the family that owns the Masseria Spina Resort.
It is rent-able, and fits 8 people. We wanted this one to begin with, but were happy
to have stayed a bit closer to the main property.  

Monopoli. 
Monopoli.


Monopoli.

Monopoli. The sea water would fill these craters, and slowly evaporite, leaving salty pools.
Small creatures came to life in these pools!

Monopoli. Torre Incine.

Monopoli.  Lots of sea shells "cemented" into the rocks.

Monopoli. Old Town. Another Gelateria!

Making lemonade with the lemons we picked! 










Lots of books this week.

Grotte di Castellana--caves!


Regina Margherita Pizzeria. Monopoli.

Bari.

Saint Nicolas Cathedral. Bari

Saint Nicolas Cathedral, Bari.

Which one is "That guy?"