We’ll start part II from Verona, the city of love. Following the region of Puglia and finish the blog with a serious topic about waste management and poverty in South Italy.
Newton and Karl
Each time before visiting a bigger city, we’re always a bit anxious how Newton will react to the crowds. This time was no exception. Nevertheless, for our surprise, he handled the situation pretty well. Like people, we only conquer our fears by dealing with them. If you don’t keep pushing yourself, you might never live the life you were supposed to.
Verona old town is next to the Adige River, which on pictures seems pretty blue but in real life is muddy and grey. This was a bit unexpected, but the old town is very charming. You will find many small streets full of colorful houses and numerous restaurants. Also, be prepared to pay a service charge when eating out. Unfortunately, a huge disappointment was the famous Juliet balcony. You stand in a small yard crammed beside 100 tourists and everyone is trying to take a photo of a balcony. Ridiculous right, but I’m not better than them because I also wanted to see the popular site from Shakespeare’s novel.
After Verona, we drove to Montagnana. It’s a small medieval and historic town. Great place to have some food or to eat ice cream and just wander around. The Duomo Catholic Church is definitely worth the visit. The night we spent wild camping on top of a hill with San Marino in the background. We decided to skip San Marino this time and drive to Puglia South Italy for a holiday. We still hadn’t had a proper rest since January, and we desperately needed one.
Newton & Sydney
Our vacation spot was in the Gargano National Park in a small town called Vieste next to the beach. The Adriatic Sea is perfect for a nice holiday because there are not so many tourists mostly locals. In our small camping were mainly older Italian families. We really liked it, plus the dogs had so much space to run around (the beach), and in the end, we stayed for 9 days. Gargano National Park has a charming coastline with clear blue water and many caves to discover. Also, if you wake up at 5 am, you’ll see a gorgeous sunrise that you don’t want to miss. We had a great holiday there, went swimming, sup surfing, sunbathing, watched movies, cycled around the city, and still did some work. Furthermore, we celebrated Newton’s first birthday, our boy is now one year old.
Newton and Mommy
On the campground, we became friends with a German artist and her Italian husband. Even though there was a language barrier, we somehow managed to have long conversations, and it turned out that they traveled like us when they were young. I was wondering if we will be like this when we are older, looking at young people and reminding ourselves of the life we chose for us. I guess we’ll see.
Paddle boarding and swimming
After our vacation, we continued our journey in Puglia and visited the Castel del Monte. It is a 13th-century citadel and castle situated on a hill in Andria in the Apulia (officially Apulia but everyone calls it Puglia) region of southeast Italy. It was built during the 1240s. It really is extraordinary, and the ticket is only 10€. Quick fact, the castle is also on the 1 euro cent in Italy, so it’s pretty famous.
Castel del Monte
Views from castle
Next, we went to Alberobello, which is known for the famous unique trullo buildings. Alberobello was definitely the highlight of Puglia. A trullo is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof. The trullo may be a circular or a square plan. The circular trullo is mostly a temporary shelter for animals and their fodder, or, for the peasant himself. Nowadays you will find Airbnb apartments in them or gift shops.
How amazing are these trullos
Puglia has a long history and lots of great sites to visit. You can also stay in an agriturismo country house. They cook meals with their own products, and their guest houses are much more private than hotels. We can recommend Salinola farm.
The Real Talk.
Since we arrived in South Italy, we have seen a completely different side of Italy. Nobody really talks about this when they sell Italy to tourist about the piles of trash lying next to the road and the poverty. One of the worst experiences we had was while driving to Gargano National Park. We had to go to the supermarket so we turned off the freeway and we continued the drive on a local highway to our destination. We soon realized that this was a truck drives route. Plus, the road was full of prostitutes, something you have heard Poland might have but not Italy. We hadn’t seen anything like this before. I felt sad as a woman to see young girls/women next to the road and disappointed in the system why they need to do this. We saw many police cars on the route, but nobody did anything. I would have never thought to see anything like this in Italy, an European Union country.
Also, to see this much litter on the ground made us speechless. As we continued going more south (not the main roads) the worst the waste problem got. In some areas, the situation was worse, and some cities felt unsafe to even step out of the van. We were wondering how nobody speaks up about it, especially tourists. We guess most of the travelers don’t go off the main touristic routes, which means there is no problem to deal with. We googled to find answers, but the only big issue is(was) in Naples and Rome thanks to the mafia. You need to understand our frustration about this issue because we try to recycle everything, not to buy plastic and so on. After long conversations about this topic, we think the problem could be because of a lack of education and proper recycling systems. You can also see how tourists are adapting locals behaviors and throwing trash on the ground. Something that they would not normally do back home. We decided not to go to the very end of Italy and are hoping that the west side is better-taken care off. It’s so sad because we are talking about one of the most beautiful countries in the world.