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8 things we loved about Otranto

A blissful two weeks in Puglia

sunny 30 °C

  • Even though it is essentially a seaside tourist town, it retains many fascinating characteristics of its colourful past, including a beautiful old town centre (centro storico).



  • The only language you will hear in the streets and alleyways is Italian. Nary a whisper of German, French, English, and American!
  • The locals are very friendly, and lack that rapacious edge so common in resort towns. Fare una passeggiata (the evening stroll) was an especially pleasant time to see all generations out and about, enjoying the balmy climate and the bella vista.

our landlord Pino, one of many friendly locals

our landlord Pino, one of many friendly locals

  • There is a beach for every day of the month ... perhaps a slight exaggeration, but within an 8 minute walk of the apartment we could reach sandy, rocky, breezy, protected, busy and quiet beaches.
  • The rocky beaches allowed the opportunity for the inner-child to briefly emerge (for the adults), and for the real kids to strut their stuff!



  • Situated on the northern promontory, our apartment was quite close to the piccolo lighthouse, allowing the sailors' warning light to flash across our terrazzo as the evening light slowly faded away, and Lisa started to disassemble me at backgammon.

siesta time for the boss

siesta time for the boss

  • Puglia is the food basket of Italy. Olives, tomatoes, cherries, and of course pesce (fish) of the highest quality was plentiful and cheap.


  • Otranto is the obvious starting point for a very scenic drive south right down to the tip of Italy's heel - Capo Santa Maria Di Leuca. Despite the somewhat erratic driving from the newbie (Papa), we had a great day on the road, with the highlight being a swim at the spectacular Grotta Zinzulusa.

looking out from Grotta Zinzulusa

looking out from Grotta Zinzulusa

Posted by happellfamily12 09:42 Archived in Italy Tagged beaches locals driving foods puglia otranto Comments (0)

La Scuola della Casa

Home Schooling

sunny 29 °C

Gabi is now in her fourth week of home schooling. Materials (enough to fill a suitcase) kindly supplied by Sydney Distance Education. In true Govt fashion the material is not exactly clearly set out. The aim is to complete four hours a day but we have managed to whittle this down to about three - hopefully I am not limiting her university opportunities! Anyway I am sure she is learning from the school of life (she is certainly honing her swimming technique).

The other day I had to explain punctuation and adverbs - bit of a struggle given I was never taught grammar properly. Current science unit on bones with a timely excursion to Otranto Cathedral supplying a real view of many bones. The Turks beheaded the martyrs of Otranto here and the skulls and bones of the martyrs are arranged in neat patterns in seven tall glass cases. Bit ghoulish but perfect for our science unit. Fortunately it is nearly school holidays ... might also have to stage a few teachers strikes.

La scuola della Casa

La scuola della Casa

Posted by happellfamily12 11:07 Archived in Italy Tagged otranto Comments (0)

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