After many trips to Italy I decided to explore some of the "secret" areas of Italy that I know nothing about.
Sicily and the area north of Venice have been on my list for a long time but then I met Yle.
I believe I "stumbled" on Ylena on Face Book, or she found me at HometoItaly.com but it was a fortunate encounter! firstname.lastname@example.org
Yle encouraged me to come and visit Puglia. I had a last minute opportunity to sail on the Queen Mary II in October. With a connection to Firenze (and a number of adventures in London) I was on a train to Bologna and then along the eastern coast of Italy on my way to Puglia. This is the south eastern part of Italy, most noted for the connections by ferry to Greece. But what a surprise.
It is not Tuscany, does not look like Umbria and does not have cities as large as Rome or Florence. But I did find some hidden treasures that proved a week was NOT long enough to explore the small towns, the coastal routes and the slow wonderful way of life.
From Bologna I stopped at Barletta, about a 6 hr train ride. Some of the ride was actually along the coast and it was a very stormy day so you could see the waves crashing on the shore. I chose Barletta for several reasons. I needed a town with a connection to my next stop, Bari and being off season I needed a hotel with a restaurant. Why? Traveling solo it is always a challenge to find a place to eat that is comfortable for a solo. This was a Sunday which means some of the restaurants would be closed. Finally Foggia (the biggest town on my route) had no hotels (in my 100E a day budget) so I selected Barletta and a hotel on the beach. That is another story. How kind the staff was from picking me up at the train station in the middle of the storm to saving me some lunch when I arrived after the restaurant closed. This was a life saver because there was 4 or more inches of rain in the street and NOTHING OPEN. So now I know to look for hotel restaurants when I travel.
After 3 days I arrived in Lecce and met Yle. Let her tell you about her wonderful company that can help you design a vacation or adventure that is what you have dreamed of doing in Italy.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y50e4I4aiMU
Email Yle at email@example.com and tell her what you have always wanted to do in Itlay:
cooking instructions, wine tasting, search for your family village, art, culture, history the opportunities are endless.