I landed at the Bari airport, in the Puglia region of Italy, in the emptiest plane (Posteitaliane) I’d ever been on in my life (and I’ve been on a lot!)! Just prior to boarding, I found and booked a reasonably priced airbnb for 1 night. Only once airborne, did I look at the reservation address and realize that it wasn’t even IN Bari! With no wifi aboard to see exactly where the town of Bisceglie was, I had to just laugh at myself and look forward to the impending adventure!
After only 2 trains, I arrived in Bisceglie during siesta which meant that I couldn’t purchase a SIM card which meant I couldn’t contact the airbnb host. I couldn’t even locate wifi in this ancient town! All I could do was look at the map I had snapped a picture of on my iPhone and trudge in that general direction. Finally finding a little restaurant where I could slough off my baggage, wipe the sweat from…well, everywhere!…and order some food (spaghetti with mussels) and wine, I asked if they had wifi. Of course not! I explained why I needed wifi so the daughter of this family run restaurant offered me her phone to call with! Before I knew it, my airbnb host was there and it turned out that I was very near my room!
Leaving my wine on the table and telling them I would be right back to eat, my host, Laura, took me to my new digs. We dropped off my gear and returned to the restaurant where she joined me for lunch. My wine was exactly where I’d left it. We enjoyed a long meal and conversation and another patron treated us to the local dessert, Sospiro (created for Lucretia Borgia, so I’m told, who once lived in Bisceglie)!
Prior to departing, Laura was insistent that I should visit the town of Trani and that she would drive me there. I managed to wander through the ancient alleyways of Bisceglie for a little bit before she picked me up. Dropped at the marina, I began a pretty deserted walk around Trani. An important soccer match (between Spain and Italy) was going on so the entire town were either at the few open bars or restaurants or at home watching it!
Trani is a beautiful seaport on the Adriatic Sea, known as the “Pearl of Puglia”. As I explored, though, I had no idea what the buildings I admired were. Everything was closed due to the soccer game! I apparently saw the Cathedral of St Nicholas the Pilgrim, Church of All Saints, Swabian Castle, and the Scolanova Church.
The following morning, I managed to get a SIM card and a private, free tour of the Church of Santa Margherita. Absolutely beautiful! Then I was off to the station and to Brindisi, where I immediately hiked quite a ways in the wrong direction. Once I finally arrived at my hosts home, we visited for only a couple of hours before I needed to get moving if I was going to see anything in Brindisi! I was leaving for Lecce the next morning!
I basicly ran around Brindisi! It was so late and, me being in traveler mode, I had to try to see it all! Though I walked for miles, I saw little of what there is to see in Brindisi. I did see the port, the monument to Italian sailors, the Brindisi Cathedral, and the Temple of San Giovanni. I may have seen more but can’t recall.
The reason I went to Brindisi is because that’s where I managed to get a couch when searching for one in Bari. Bisciglie and Brindisi were towns in Puglia that I had had no plans of visiting and that I’m so glad that chance took me to!
My fears of finding my favorite place in the world (Italy) just another stop in so many stops and nothing special, were alleviated pretty quickly! Nothing has changed in that, every time I go to Italy, I fall in love all over again!