Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bringing You ITALY!

Venice - a city that just grows better with time.

Yes, I finally set foot on one of my most favourite “bucket-list” countries – ITALY! Ah… being in Italy was a dream… I had been dreaming of visiting Italy for many years, and now when I have been there and I have stories to share, it just feels incredible.  

To begin with, Italy is unique. Even though I haven’t been to any other European country, I can still feel that there’s no country quite like Italy. The people are spontaneous and a bit noisy (just like us, Indians). They dress stylishly and ooze a lot of coolness. They seem to be a bit nonchalant, happy-go-lucky… and they spark off the much-needed warmth when you need it the most. Yes, the weather in Italy is cold in March. So, take layers of winter clothing along. But, to really thaw with the locals, try picking up a few Italian pleasantries. Greet them with a Ciao and extend gratitude with a Grazie.

Being stylishly-dressed comes naturally to Italians. 

March, I guess, is the best time to be in Italy. Even the much touristic Venice is less crowded during that time. You can move around with ease. Besides the romance associated with the green waters and the gondolas of Venice, the narrow lanes and the battered walls have their own way of enchanting you. Venice is like an old gracious lady who simply refuses to lose her charm.

I was particularly looking forward to having loads of coffee, wines and of course, gelato in Italy. And, here’s what I realized that if you want a generous cup of coffee in Italy, make sure you tell them so, or they’d serve you a latte shot in a tiny cup. Wines in Italy have a certain silky texture to them. They really reflect Italy’s heart of love. Chianti, which originally birthed as a white wine, is now produced as a dry red table wine. And, gelato is pure bliss in your mouth. I’d say gorging on a gelato was one of my best experiences in Italy.
Gelato, coffee and wine

It’s usual to see wood-fired ovens everywhere in Italy. The pizza that you have in Italy is so homey and healthy. I will write more about food in Italy in my upcoming posts. For now, I just want to blabber about what I soaked up in Italy.

The slow-paced life of Puglia.

I had read about Italy’s scams, thefts and unruly guys, and also about the lack of English-speaking folks in the remote regions. Well, thankfully, we (my husband and I) didn’t come across any unpleasant incident on our trip. And though people barely spoke English, it wasn’t so difficult to communicate. I guess friendliness is a better language than words.

Puglia (Apulia) was where we spent most of our time. It’s a modest region in Southern Italy, which has picture-postcard towns and a really long Mediterranean coastline. I wanted to visit Puglia for its Trulli town, Alberobello, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But, Puglia has so much more to offer. I also got to explore Ostuni, Lecce, Bari and Monopoly.

Basking in its historical glory.

Ostuni is my personal favourite for its surreal quality. Its white walls, stairways and alleyways evoke a fascinating enigma. Every single town that I visited had so much history embedded in its nooks and crannies. It was impossible to just pass by and remain indifferent to the beauty and art of the old ages.

In the lanes of Ostuni - the whitewashed town of Southern Italy.

We stayed at hotel Masseria l'Ovile, which is located in the countryside near Ostuni. It was a secluded place to stay, but it gave us the chance to lay eyes on the beautiful bucolic side of Italy. So, if you go beyond the touristic belt (Venice, Rome and Pisa), Italy has a totally different soul to it. You get to see olive trees all over the Puglian countryside. The small towns follow slow-paced living traditions, such as siesta. You won’t find any shop or cafĂ© open during one to four in the afternoon. The historic buildings, the ancient churches, the museums and the cobbled streets get you acquainted with the times gone by.
The farmlands of Puglia.

Have you been to Italy? What did you like about it?

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28 comments:

  1. Beautiful post and you look very happy. Puglia has long been on my wishlist. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Svetlana :-) Yeah, my happiness reflects in all my pictures.

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  2. Lovely pictures. So glad you and your husband made it to Italy. Looking forward to your next blog.

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    1. Thanks Swetzel :-) Yep, there's a lot coming up!

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  3. I was just about to get to Puglia last year, but my flight was cancelled, so I got to Barcelona instead. Still dreaming of it, though, and I enjoyed looking at your pictures. It will just have to wait. I'm flying to India this year! :)

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    1. I hope you visit Puglia soon. It's a lovely region of Southern Italy. Looking forward to your India visit. Let me know if you need any help.

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  4. Beautiful post and you look stylish too in black :)

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    1. Thanks Moon :-) I tried matching up to the Italian sense of styling. ;-)

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  5. Ahhh Italy! Even though I'm more of an Asia traveller, there's just something about that country... I love it <3 Glad to see you're having a great time!

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    1. Yeah, there's definitely something about Italy! I hope you get there soon, Tim :-)

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  6. Beautiful pictures of Italy Renuka! Cant wait to read more about this beautiful country in your upcoming posts! :)

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    1. Thanks Tales of Travelling Sisters! Yes, there's a lot coming up on Italy.

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  7. Wow, Italy looks very enticing and your eyes... They are sparkling in joy!

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    1. Thanks Arti :-) Yes, my eyes really sparkled with joy!

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  8. I must go back to Italy and explore it properly! It looks like Italy agrees very much with you Renuka!

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    1. Yeah, Italy is just too charming! Hope you take a trip there soon.

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  9. Beautifully Written, about a beautiful place, by a beautiful lady... :)

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    1. Thanks Ashish! I'm glad you enjoyed the post :-)

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  10. Wow Wow Wow ! This is just amazing ! I dream of going to Italy one day and see all those places Rome, Venice and Pompeii. For now, will content myself with reading the travelogues :)

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    1. I wish you get to Italy soon, Puru. :-) It is indeed an amazing country!

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  11. Your pictures and you account clearly tell us how charmed you were by Italy. :)
    I'll come back for more on this destination.

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    1. Yes, there's a lot coming up on Italy.

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  12. Beautiful country - thanks for taking us there with your Renuka! Look forward to reading more.

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  13. You're welcome, Chaitali! Sure, there's a lot coming up on Italy.

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  14. Italy is Magical...looking at those pics you fall in love with it instantly :) you are glowing in those pics :D

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    1. Thanks Pooja :-) Who wouldn't glow in Italy? ;-)

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  15. Italy? You've made it to Italy!!! So lovely to see you there!! <3

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    1. Thanks Agness :-) Yeah, I made it to Italy!

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