Italy (1) 2018

21 Sep 2018 – OSL-FCO-BRI

Sat&Sun: needed this weekend to gather my thoughts before heading to Italy. And also feeling blessed that family+friends are all safe after HurricaneFlorence and TyphoonMangkhut.

Mon: coffee with Ingrid@Åpent Bakeri@Damplassen and a trip to Kolibri to see what they were selling for their dinner of the day. Quite pricey for the apple-chips and the dinner of the day!

Tue: lunched@Bicks before picking #6 from school. The tram to the train station to catch the AirportX. NorwegianAir OSL-FCO-OSL S$275

Snoozed on the uneventful 3+hrs flight on NorwegianAir arr into Rome-Flumicino FCO app 2130hrs. On transit in FCO for the evening.

New grounds to explore and not staying in the Hilton, just took a covered-walk there on this rainy night to kill time instead of paying for a bed for the night!

This Italy trip will be on the SE, the Puglia area around the heel on the map. Starting with Bari, will be driving towards the south towards Lecce.

Wed: checking into RyanAir bright&early was an appetizing&culinary sight with all these foods to salivate after the security-check.

Welcome back to Italy – has been a long time ago since my last visit. Soaking in the delightful coffee bars’ ambiance and the emotional Italian language ie living in the moment and going with the flow!

On schedule 45mins flight from FCO-BRI EUR25 S$40 – do not remember when I last was on RyanAir but did remember printing out my boarding pass (tkx to May) to have with me or there will be quite an expensive extra charge NOK600 S$100!!!

Met with the Puddeys who arr 2hrs later from London on BritishAir.

Picked up our rental car@Avis BRI airport, upgrading from what was provided to a bigger car to fit in all the luggage!! Quite an experience driving to the heart of the historic district where our B&B BorgoSanNicola was conveniently located next to

the BasilicaDiSanNicholas. 

Poor Ian was not feeling himself after catching some bug during their Alaska trip. PP&I did some exploring around Swabian Castle,

the historic district and watching life goes by…

Walked on the wall by the seafront to the non-historic district and for some reason, these colourful flowers got me to think of the movie The Bridges of Madison County (1995) where Francesca (played by Meryl Streep) said that she was from Bari – have wondered then where Bari was, now I know.

Tasty seafood spaghetti&risotto dinner@Frisa&Co.

Thu: was lucky to get a parking space just across the road by the sea from where we were staying costing EUR1 perhr and foc after 2030hrs – paid EUR8 total. Driving around the historic district is no fun, glad that we found the best parking spot possible.

PP&Ian got baptized by the pigeons 🙂 and I am not the only one laughing about it 🙂 🙂

Fruit shopping – small pears and fresh figs were juicy&sweet. To the airport again to pick up KK arr from CPH before continuing app 60+km south and inland to Matera.

Navigating into historic Matera was a nightmare but we managed to find our way to Al Terrazzini, our accommodations  and again in the heart of this fascinating place. Leaving the car at some garage for our stay 3nights here, phew!

Artsy ambiance – Vicolo Cieco Salsamenteria just around the corner. According to the gang, the take-away sandwiches were nothing to write home about – did not taste any, had Ian’s left over dinner earlier in the car after the nerve-wrecking drive to look for our B&B. Taste a bite of the ham with fresh figs and it was good for me.

Time for relaxing and pre-dinner drinks in the room with a view after short tropical downpour.

Dinner@RistoranteDaNico – had the PappardelleTartufo/paste with truffles and it was yummy. PP’s sausage was one of the best I have tasted, Ian’s beef was excellent, KK’s pasta was OK and all the veggie side-dishes were good.

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Fri: TGIF, decent breakfast spread before exploring CittàSotterranea=UndergroundCity,  Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. Its historical center Sassi/Stones, is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993.

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A walk about the SassoBarisano area with much to see

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Casa Noha where an interesting video – The invisible Sassi. An extraordinary journey through the history of Matera conceived by GiovanniCarrada and projected onto the walls, ceilings and floors of the rooms, offers the visitors a complete reconstruction of the history of the city from its origins to the present day. A must watch if you want to learn and understand about Matera.

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Short siesta before meeting our excellent private guide EUR120 S$192, Anna-Maria who brought us down the MateraSotterranea: il Palombaro lungo – the Cathedral of Water, a large cistern under the old part of town. The water-marks are quite an art.

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Duomo di Matera Cattedrale di Santa Maria della Bruna e di Sant’Eustachio – the most important city monument reopened in 2016 after 13yrs of restoration. Could see our room (even the laundry hanging out) from here – no kidding!

http://www.italianways.com/materas-wonders-the-cathedral-re-opens-to-the-public/

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Casa Grotta di VIco Solitario – home-cave decorated with original furniture and tools of the time when it was inhabited.

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Views from Sasso Caveoso to the caves. Battery in camera when flat, pix from iphone here and below

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Dinner@RistoranteFrancesca – PP&KK had mixed grilled, Ian chose the lamb and I had the sausage paste.

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see – Gilbert K. Chesterton… And I consider myself both a traveler and a tourist 🙂 

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