At the heel of the boot of Italy

A map of Italy

The highlighted part is where I am at now. In Puglia. Things have moved along slowly. Appointments have been changed due to some unforeseen circumstances. So now it is already Thursday and we are still way down there at the heel of the boot that is Italy. Yesterday, we left Bitritto for Presicce. An amazing aerographic artist for our vespas lives here. I personally have never so far south at the boot of Italy before.

My verdict? It is amazingly beautiful!!! We went to the southern most tip of the boot, a place called Santa Maria di Leuca and I fell in love! Even though it is a little difficult to get to this point but boy, is it worth it! Do keep in mind though that this is the south and all these little towns are little towns. There are no big shopping complexes within easy reach here. If I am not mistaken the nearest shopping complexes is either one, 30kms or the other 60kms. If I am not mistaken the nearest airport is in Brindisi which is about 200+kms away or in Bari. But we are very near Greece. I think it is because of this proximity that the building also remind me of Greece. All whitewashed and with beautiful colours accenting them.

Presicce, though small has quite a few historical buildings. All worth a visit. I also discovered that Presicce has a whole subterranean city! From wikipedia, I couldn’t find much onPresicce but I found a page on Santa Maria di Leuca. I discovered that it houses the 2nd most important lighthouse in Italy after the one in Genoa! We learn something new everyday! We are here after the summer season so things are much calmer. I like the tranquility but I would advise that you make a trip here just at the end of summer, last week of August, to still tap into the summer vibe though things will already be winding down then. The summer here goes all the way till end of October and starts in April. Summer is in full swing in July and August. It is still 30 degrees today with loads of sunshine. So if you come here now, it is quiet, sunny, with not much to do but to just relax.

What surprised me the most of these places is the fact that, if you don’t know that you are in the south of Italy, the restaurants, bars and clubs when in full swing in summer, reminds me of Cannes, albeit on a way smaller scale. Everywhere you go there are full wifi services. I am so used to the other south. Calabria, where you can’t really get decent hotel service nor wifi anywhere (except maybe at Tropea) that I prepare myself for the worst. I bring extra pillows (small ones), a huddle for our won wifi connection and be prepared to roast in the heat every night at hotels or B&Bs without proper air-conditioning. Since our journey started, from Rome to Nola in Naples and Bitritto, and even here in Presicce, I have not used my huddle for wifi even ONCE! I am impressed. Even in little Bitritto the B&B was exceptional. It had everything and more. Though M was a little disappointed by the breakfast which I kind of knew it will not be worth getting up for. 😛 But over all, very good service. Every one of the places we stayed had the full cable options too! There were the usual local channels, MTV, BBC, and all the other major European news channel.

I took some photos of the coastal towns from Santa Maria di Leuca all the way back to Lido Marini and back up to Presicce. Presicce is inland but only less than 4kms away. Though the photos won’t do it justice but you will have an idea of the beauty of the place. We ate an amazingly beautiful restaurant in Presicce which I will blog about next. Of course, the food was good too!

Before the battery on my computer dies off (only 6% left cause M used it and didn’t charge it :P) I will try to upload the photos.

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Going home to another withdrawal..

 

I am going home tomorrow!! Till now, 6.30pm, I am flying tomorrow supposedly at 11am, I have yet to receive my tickets from my very irresponsible travel agent. Which is why I like to get my own tickets most of the time. Why am I still using her? Well, it is not me who is using her, but our company. M has dealt with her for more than 10 years now and will continue to use her. He bought the tickets with her before I could even tell him no, and that I will get my own tickets. Also, because of her, M lost his Krisflyer Gold Card qualification because even after several reminders, she kept buying the wrong tickets resulting in no points given. This really riled M up. Because of the nature of our jobs, it is essential that we have the Gold Card. It allows us to go to a Business class check in line which is usually shorter, have extra baggage and the First and Business class lounges available to us whenever we are airport hopping is really a blessing in disguise. The extra baggage also allows us to carry items that are essential for every Italian stand, the espresso machines, and anything else we either forgot or have to bring on our own to supplement the stand, with no extra cost. Anyway, we are working on this. Hopefully we can get him back on track with just one flight.

I am going home to Malaysia. As you all know from my earlier posts, I don’t have any data plan on my local number, oh, man am I going to suffer!!! Sniff!! T_T this is the crying emoticon, right? I so bad at this. 😛 Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to go home. I get to see my family and eat! eat! eat! A little exercise in between and then eat again! But, as my sister said, I am such an internet whore. I blame all this on my new found interest in Twitter. I love to read the posts and the fact that I am in touch with people around the world in real time. I know that FB does the same but it feels distinctly different. I prefer Twitter. Not much mumbo jumbo to sift through. Just 140words or less. Get the gist and move on.

I have to go soon. A friend came down from Turin and is now in front of me. Update y’all soon!

Toodeloos!!

Update: just got the tickets now. Better late than never, right? 🙂

 

Island Weekend

Tonight we will be making our way to the island of Sardegna. It is going to a long 12+hour ferry ride and another 130km+ drive before we even get to where we want to go. It is going to be a loooooong weekend. I am super excited though. I have heard so much about the beauty of Sardegna and also how freaking expensive it is in summer. It is after all the playground of the rich and famous in the summer. I think the destination that we are going for is Porto Cervo.

I heard that the people of Sardegna, commonly referred to as Sarda have special plane and ferry ticket prices. As a concession for them as part of Italy and to allow them to have more access to the mainland. Somehow, we managed to get the cabins for our night stay on the ferry as our other friends going along with us is originally from Sardegna. Lucky us!

I am bringing along my camera and hopefully I do some justice to the beauty that surrounds me! 😛

Toodeloos and have an amazing weekend!!!

P/s: My FIL just informed me that we should have bought tickets for Olbia instead of Porte Torres. Olbia is only 40+km from our destination. OMG!!! we are going on motorcycle too!! but hey! It will be fun! It has been some time since our last road trip! Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Back on the travel wagon

Tomorrow will be the start of a 3 day 4 country travel whirlwind.

We will head out tomorrow morning at 5 am for Milan Malpensa Airport which is about 2 hours away to get there in time for our 9.35 am flight to Barcelona. We have an appointment in Barcelona at 5 pm. It is a little early but we can’t find any other flights that is more convenient for us without having to airport hop our way there. Will probably wile our time away at the amazing Escriba cafe and checking out the Prada in town. A friend has asked me to help her buy a bag and this provincial “city” that I live in does not have a Prada exclusive shop. The nearest one is an outlet which carries past seasons and the other in Milan. So I will help her search for it in Barcelona. In might even work in my favour as things are a little cheaper in Spain AND their taxes are way lower. 8% for food. In Italy every freaking thing is 21%. It was 20% before. They just increased it end of last year. I better not get started on the STUPID taxing system here. no wonder everyone tries to avoid paying taxes and I mean EVERYONE!

With such a bad economy enveloping the whole of Europe and Italy struggling, guess what? They increase the electricity and gas bills by 4.5% and 3.7% respectively. That is not the only thing that they are increasing. Petrol prices are doing a limbo rock. Highest so far is €2 per litre and now it is hovering at €1.8 per litre. There are so many more things I can comment about. It amazes me why they think that raising already high taxes will solve the problems. I shall blog about this amazing phenomenon from my point of view another day. remind me.

I digress…sorry.

Back to the topic at hand. After the appointment, we will catch the 9.30pm flight from the f@£$%^g Terminal 2 Airport of EasyJet (we fly in at Terminal 1) and reach back to Milan around midnight. Stay the night and catch the next flight out at 11am the next day for Singapore. Hopping on the very next flight when we get in for Kuala Lumpur. After that, we shall slowly make our way to the centre and join the family for the upcoming celebrations!! 🙂

I can’t wait!! though I already feel it will be quite tiring.

I haven’t really been flying the last 2 months which is quite unusual but I am now back in the game! I have things all lined up for work and for pleasure almost every other week. There is another trip to Jordan in the pipeline. Should I or shouldn’t I? Locked in Boracay for this year! Our annual girly trip is booked!!! whee!! *excited squeel*

Signing off now! Dinner with the in-laws.

Toodeloos!!