As we were not able to do the Amalfi coast we decided to head over to Puglia and be near to Bari for the ferry which we were getting to Albania.
Our first stop was Matera which is one of the oldest cities in the world.
Matera became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1993. It is also one of the world’s oldest continuously lived in settlements and is around 9000 years old.
The Sassi de Matera are two districts of the city of Matera. (Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano.) The term sasso derives from latin and means a hill rock or great stone! The houses are built on rock and the streets in some parts of the Sassi are often on top of other houses!
The landscape is quite unique and a recent James Bond film was filmed there. Here is the first glimpse of the Sassi.
We took so many photos the day we visited Matera. It is really difficult to choose which ones to put on here!
Cars are not allowed into Matera. I was amazed at how many churches there were! I decided to look it up and was really shocked to find there are in fact more than 150!
There were not any park ups or campsites within walking distance . We managed to find an excellent campsite that was not too far away and right in the middle of the countryside. It was very peaceful. We arrived late afternoon so we didn’t go into Matera until the following day.
The owners Paula and Maria were amazing hosts. Nothing was too much trouble. They ran a shuttle service to and from Matera which was perfect. They also had films for us to watch about Matera and a lovely shop selling local produce.
There was also a breakfast delivery of croissants and ‘Matera’bread. The Matera bread was really good and very fresh. It is unique to Matera.
When you cut it it’s heart shaped!
We actually stayed on the campsite for 3 nights. It was slightly cheaper to do 3 nights. On the second day our lovely host dropped us into the town to do our laundry and visit the local fruit market .
On our last day we went for a walk around before leaving. We were actually looking for some caves. We didn’t actually manage to find them but I think we may have gone the wrong way! Still the scenery was nice.
After Matera we decided to go and have a look at Alberobello.
Alberobello is famous for it’s trulli. A trullo (plural trulli) is a stone hut with a conical roof. The whole town of Aborobello has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.
We had a walk round. It’s an interesting place to see, a whole town of trulli.
There is a museum which is the only 2 storey trullo, it was closed though when we were there. It’s the only one you can go inside as they are all either lived in or used as holiday lets.
Polignano a Mare
We decided to head to the coast to Polignano a Mare. We had a nice free park up right by the sea. As you can see in the photo, the views were lovely and we were high up, it was also very rocky so not a swimming beach.
We had a walk round the town which was very picturesque and had a really nice feel to it. We also got some seafood pasta for lunch.
It was cold and seemed to be getting colder with a very strong wind. During the night we could hear wind and the sea. We were still very surprised to see how bad it actually was in the morning. The waves were coming right up over the defence wall and even hitting our van!!
We decided it was definitely time to move. We headed first to Bari where we had a walk around the town. It was soooooo cold and we even had a bit of snow! I never thought I’d be wearing my ‘Harris hat’ in Italy! I was actually very glad to have it!
We spent the next few days before our next ferry at a free park up on the beach on the outskirts of Bari where we basically managed to ‘sit out’ most of this very cold weather.
Then it was time to go and get our ferry to Albania.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our travels in Italy. Our next post will be in Albania.
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