Purple Palate Blog

Days 41- 46 Bella Roma

Writing this on the plane home from Dubai… 6 hours down, 8 to go… Roz officially troppo. Jumped the slow train from Salerno to Roma, then a taxi from the station to our hotel, the Palace Colonna, directly opposite Parliment (on Piazza Montecitorio), which conveniently, was in session the entire time we were in Rome. This was fine, except that every Carabinari and journalist was in permanent residence outside our hotel foyer.  Have never seen so many (proper) guns in my life… We are not talking side arms here… We are talking assault rifles. If I go into too much […]

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Day 40 – Amalfi Coast

Up early in search of a laundrymat… Quick hint… Google maps doesn’t know the difference between a laundrymat and a dry cleaner, but that’s a story for another day. We have 1 day to do the Amalfi Coast, so choosing not to bite off more than we could chew, decided to get the boat to Amalfi, then bus it to Ravello in the hills above, then on to Positano. Walked the couple of kms to the ferry terminal, then the half a km out to the end of the jetty with the ticket office. Were told (in no uncertain terms) […]

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Day 39- Alboloberro and Matera

Up early, and left our Agritorismo in Otranto, after having found out the huts in the fields where medieval tool sheds, sometimes used for sheppards shelter, and with flat roofs to dry fruit. Said goodbye to my proxy Italian cat Pepe, and hit the road… I have never seen so many black & white cats in my life. Heading up the middle of the heel today, to checkout the Trulli houses this region is renowned for.  Alboloberro was a group of these houses used by agricultural workers who were paid to clear the land (mainly of rocks). Their employers weren’t […]

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Day 38 – Pompeii

Headed off from the Castle after an early breakfast. Change of plans for today. We were heading to Amalfi, but have just been informed that there is no parking available at our accommodation in Salerno, and that they are in a ZTL zone to boot. So we are doing Pompeii today instead, then ditching the car 2 days early, rather than paying parking.  I am devastated to be losing the car… No really, I am 😂. Found a park, no mean feat, and headed into the ruins of Pompeii. Roz has been looking forward to this for the entire trip. […]

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Day 36 -trip to Leuca

So having done the eastern most tip if Italia, today we decided to try for the southern most tip of the heel. Leuca. We set off to drive the coastal road, with its fantastic views over the Adriactic. We stopped firstly at Porto Badisco as we had heard their was a grotto you could walk down to. After rambling about for half an hour, wee found the locked gate to the grotto, that some industrious local had put up, so you had to pay to get in. So no go. We did however find yet another example of the lengths […]

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Day 35 – Lecce and Otranto

Up early for breakfast in our lovely farmstay… Built in 1748, it is a veritable baby in this country. Roz has decided she wants to see Lecce today’s, and, since we are 5 minutes from Otranto, I guess we’re better go a check it out as well. Into the car, for a drive up the central road to Lecce. This area is starting to do my head in a bit with the  amount of industriousness on display. It’s almost like they say, “so what are you doing for the weekend?” “Yeah, I’ve got some rocks… Think I’ll build something”. Absolutely […]

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Day 34 – Rambling the coast

Up and a leisurely breakfast. We have decided to just have a wander around the immediate area today. Sick of driving frankly. So, into the car (yeah I know). Headed further south, but only 2 minutes. Pulled up at what looked like an abandoned military base, dumped the car, and headed off down a cliff side path.   The Cape Otranto lighthouse is at the base of the cliff – don’t ask me, I didn’t build it – and is worth the kilometre walk down, just to stand on the eastern most point of Italy if nothing else.  We could […]

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Day 33 – Vasto to Otranto

Back on the road after a fantastic breakfast of cake, coffee, mozzarella and bruschetta… Gotta love a country that does cake for breakfast. The weather had cleared, and the Adriatic was stunning. Into the car, and sea on the left again. Decided to bypass Bari, in order to stop at Posignano a mare, reportedly one of the most beautiful towns it Italia. Yeah, would have to agree. We parked outside, and wandered in, just heading vaguely in the direction of the ocean. Turned a corner, and there was the sea. Once again, when they say seafront, they really mean it. […]

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Day 32 – Umbria to Vasto

Up early for our big day on the road heading over to the east coast. Looking at the map, it was way to long to do in one day, so we decided to stay over in Vasto, about midway. It was with a bit of a heavy heart that we left out little house in Umbria. We have decided that Umbria is much more our cup of vino than Toscano. The people are lovely, the land well tended, and with a sense of pride. Far more agrarian than Tuscany, and far prettier. The wine in Tuscany, perhaps more suited to […]

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Day 31 – Panicale

Decided on a quieter day today, but since we were only a 10 minute drive from one of Umbrias hidden gems, with a Trattoria which had come highly recommended, with a great wine list, off we set to Panicale. Arrived in town, making for the nearest parking lot. You simply don’t try and drive anywhere near the old town centres in Italy. A – you don’t fit, and B – if you drive passed the “dreaded red circle of doom” aka a ZTL marker, they will photograph you, and you will have to give them your house… Anyhow we got […]

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