Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Why BARI Didn’t Appeal To Me?

Well, Bari lacked what the other towns of Puglia offered in abundance – the vintage feel, the little cute elements, the slow life… But, don’t get me wrong! I’m not implying that it’s hard to like Bari. My husband loved it. As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t like it much. It didn’t fascinate me the way Ostuni or Lecce did.  

Bari is the capital of Puglia and a metropolitan city, which is why I guess it’s different from the rest of the region. I enjoy smaller and quieter places to bigger and noisier ones. That being said, I do like big, glitzy places also. I loved Sydney and I’m living in Mumbai. But, when I’m in Italy and that too, a lesser-known region of Italy, I don’t want the usual buzz. I mean that’s my perspective. You are free to differ.

Theatre Margherita

Bari isn’t devoid of history.
If you think I didn’t like Bari because it lacks history, that’s far from the truth. In fact, it has quite a lot of history. I did visit the Swabian castle, St. Nicholas Basilica and the Bari Cathedral. (St. Nicholas Basilica was so gorgeous.) So yes, it has its share of old architecture. But, even that didn’t woo me.

St. Nicholas Basilica seen through the buildings (an exclusive photo essay on the churches of Puglia soon)

Bari has an old town, too.
I have to mention that though Bari is urbane and commercial, a part of it is still old and ordinary. As you pass by the traditional homes of Bari, you can see the everyday living of the locals, which would appeal to you (if you are someone like me).

The everyday life in the old town of Bari

Bari is for shopaholics, fashionistas.
Yes, if you are someone who can’t do without shopping, Bari is for you! You will find all the high-end brands you could think of. So, go there with a motto that says – “Have money, will shop” and you won’t regret it.

Haute couture of Bari
Stunning bakeries 
Souvenir shops in the old lanes

Bari is a port city.
Bari has a pretty waterfront, which you can enjoy while walking on the promenade. You can grab yourself a bench and sit for a while to take in the Adriatic beauty, or just keep sauntering.    

Punta Perotti seaside

I’d say if you choose Bari for your Southern Italy trip, visit it with awareness that it won’t caress your heart the way a typical European town would.

Is there a city that didn’t appeal to you as a traveler?
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Monday, 2 May 2016

Monopoli In 35 Photos – A ‘Dreamlike’ Town Of Southern Italy

The moment I framed Monopoli from the beach of Cala Porta Vecchia, I knew it had a dreamlike quality. The old buildings along with the seacoast looked almost like a painting. My feeling of awe and wonder continued to grow as I walked towards the sublime dock followed by the fascinating back lanes of the buildings.

Well, let these photos bring Monopoli to you –

Did you notice the shades of blue?
Don't you think that the harbour blends beautifully with the Castle of Charles V (a 15th century building)?
Don't they look story-bookish?
The clock tower of Monopoli
Aren't these doors and windows pretty?
The main square of Monopoli

Have my photos tempted you to visit Monopoly?
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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Lose Your Heart To Ostuni

There’s something about Ostuni – the tint of white that you see on its houses and buildings takes you into a surreal world. The murmur of shops and vehicles has no power over the era that breathes quietly, yet profoundly in the cobbled lanes and behind the ancient walls. 
Ostuni was one town I was particular about visiting while I was planning my trip to Italy. I knew I was going to adore it for its dreamlike quality. So, when I finally set foot in Ostuni, I was enthralled by it. I was so much in awe of everything around me that it was hard for me to decide where to settle my gaze. I just snapped photos left, right and centre. I didn’t want to overlook even a corner of this beautiful “white town” of Puglia. Ostuni is easily my favourite of all the towns that I visited in Puglia.

Also read: Bringing You ITALY!

Here’s what I loved about Ostuni –

The “white” tint

As I mentioned earlier, the white tint of Ostuni is almost like a dream. It’s gorgeous.

An excerpt from Wikipedia:

The so-called "Old Town" is Ostuni's citadel built on top of a hill and still fortified by the ancient walls. Ostuni is regarded as an architectural jewel, and is commonly referred to as "the White Town" ("La Città Bianca", in Italian) for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. Monuments in their own right, the town's largest buildings are the Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace, together with a number of palazzi of local aristocratic families: Aurisicchio, Ayroldi, Bisantizzi, Falghieri, Ghionda, Giovine, Jurleo, Marseglia, Moro, Palmieri, Petrarolo, Siccoda, Urselli and Zaccaria.

In the surrounding countryside there are typical Pugliese "masserie", fortified large estate-farms, one of which, San Domenico, was once held by the Knights of Malta.    

The mysterious narrow lanes and staircases

Yes, the narrow lanes and staircases of Ostuni have certain mystery to them. It feels like a maze, which envelops you in its fathomless magic.  

The vintage charms

I absolutely loved the little vintage charms of Ostuni – pretty balconies, hanging flower pots, quaint doors, windows and the like.

The cute cafes and shops

The cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, gelaterias and pasticcerias of Ostuni add a lot of elegance to the whole atmosphere. 

The cobbled streets

Ostuni has cobbled streets everywhere. So, it’s almost like stepping into the Stone Age. The nooks and crannies of Ostuni ooze the old era.   

The historic aura

Well, it goes without saying that Ostuni is a historic city. It has quite a few attractions that are of interest to history lovers – the cathedral of Ostuni, the central piazza and Chiesa di San Francesco.

Ideal for slow saunters

Ostuni inspires you to saunter slowly and soak up its quiet life. The siesta hours (1 to 4pm) give you a chance to sneak out of your “buzzing” life and immerse into the bliss of idleness.  
Has Ostuni captivated you?
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