Italy: Matera

First Glance Same Old, Same Old At first glance, Matera resembled an average Italian city: a piazza where both modern and ancient architecture abut; ancient churches next to government buildings; restaurants and gelaterias selling the most amazing smelling and tasting delicacies; and sculpted artworks highlighting an important point in the city’s history. A Most Pleasant…

2015 Year in Review

As I reflect on how my life has changed in the past year, I’ve come to realize that 2015 was a year of adventure, cooking, traveling, eating delicious meals and trying new things.  After 2014, a year where I focused on cleaning up my finances by paying off all my credit card debt, I realized…

Italy: Grotte di Castellana and Masseria Papaperta

History of the Grotte di Castellana The Grotte di Castellana is a series of caves in the Itria Valley that began to form over 90 million years ago. During the Cretaceous period, the valley was submerged by an ancient sea. For millions of years the lifeforms (shellfish and marine plants) left their carcasses on the…

Italy: Alberobello

The Road to Alberobello After leaving Ostuni, we made our way to our next stop on our tour of Italy, Alberbello.  As we drove down highway, we began to see cylindrical structures with conical roofs doting the hillsides.  These structures are called trulli’s and they are defining landmarks of Alberobello. Alberobello’s history is a tale…

Italy: Ostuni

Ostuni is a hilltop city that was believed to have been established by the Messappi people. In the 8th century BC, the Messappi started to build the first fortified towns in the region. These city was eventually attacked and defeated by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. Around 216 BC, the region was conquered by the…

Italy: Palignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare is a small seaside located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is perched atop a 20 meter-high limestone cliff. The origin of the city dates back to the 4th century BC when Greek settlers founded the Neapolis. This trip was not on our GoAhead itinerary. This was a special stop…

Bari: A Castle, the Old Town, Pasta, a Basilica and a Promenade

Bari is the capital city of the Apulia region.  It is on the coastline of the Adriatic Sea.  It is known as a port and university city and the city of Saint Nicholas. Bari is also known for it seafood, its handmade pasta, and its notable wines, which includes a delicious primitivo. This very well…

Italy: Oesteria AL Duomo – The Best Italian Meal

You will be hard pressed to find inedible food in Italy.  Everything I ate was simply delicious, however, there was one particular day where everything I consumed transported me to a place of pure delight. After walking around the old town Barletta, my friend and I decided to enjoy a meal at Oesteria AL Duomo,…

Italy: Barletta

After our morning exploring Monte Sant’Angelo and Gargano, we made our way back to coastal city of Barletta. The City Barletta is located on the Adriatic with a very long, sandy coast stretching to both the east and the west. Along the coast, there are various attractive beaches with trees to the west. The main…

Italy: Exploring Gargano

Surrounding the Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo is a beautiful hilltop town. Walking the Old Town As you walk around the old town, you are surrounded by private homes, churches and wonderful eateries.  You really get the sense that in this well maintained enclave, the people who live here are very aware of living a charmingly…