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Entries about puglia

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)

Observations dalla spiaggia

SP 30 Minus

sunny 32 °C

A few days here in hot Otranto (Puglia) have revealed some interesting beach habits by the locals.

Sunscreen appears to be an optional extra, and sun baking quickly becomes sun skewering with the menu running from medium to well done. Pugliese (or they may be the poorly regarded Northerners - it's hard to tell) seem to enjoy one of two beachside activities : sleeping on a sun lounger with possibly a nod to the furnace-like conditions by using the nifty head screening device (it's like an extension to the lounge that flips over at an angle); or standing waste-deep in the beautifully cool water carrying on a lengthy and animated conversation (is there any other sort in Italy?) with 1-4 friends or family members.

We have received more than our fair share of curious glances when donning our water 'rashies', and assiduously applying sunscreen to our exposed extremities. At a guess the locals are probably thinking 'who are these pathetic lily-white Poms that can't cope with a bit of early summer heat?'. Unveiling us as Australians would only add to the confusion I suspect.

Lisa and I have also noted the current season bathing fashion - best described as 'less is more'. The blokes are getting by with standard speedo-like garments; none too flattering but pretty standard for the territory. The chicks however are wearing tiny, tiny bikinis that disappear up various crevices as quickly as gelati is consumed at the beach bar. The shape and size of the wearer seems to be irrelevant ... this is no place for modesty ... 'fashion is as fashion does' is about the best I can do to describe the scene.

Posted by happellfamily12 13:03 Archived in Italy Tagged beach fashion puglia Comments (1)

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