Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11264825_10155660748645302_6374690311654961813_n

Well, If you haven’t guessed, it’s definitely wedding season over here, 2 weeks one of my bestest friends got married to the man of her dreams… My instagram account is starting to resemble a wedding business! So whilst love is in the air, and I have a rare bit of time off I’d like to get back to our Italian love affair (my one this time).

I adore Italy, I have already been to Milan, Rome and Verona, and still want to see more. Obviously the food speaks to me, the way they enjoy food and the social side of food, good, indulgent, healthy, simple… Mmmmm…. But also the ambience and culture, The slightly run down-ness, the colours of the buildings, the architecture… oosssh, I love it all!

11350434_10155660749400302_5123282024384225209_n 11407225_10155660748260302_4767002238342274142_n 11377200_10155660748040302_681166774168569022_n 11351270_10155660747935302_2203764102793666158_n

I had never traveled to the southern, more rustic part of Italy before and it lived up to every expectation that I had… Our home for the vacation set the tone; laid-back, rustic, real…. no fancy stuff or mod cons (hot water was even a bit of a luxury)

10426284_10155660752520302_2047248703492994516_n

On our first night, after checking into our fabulous Air BnB (You can read about it here) we took a stroll around Spongano. It’s beautiful, sleepy little village centered around a square with a church, a restaurant, a bar and a couple of shops and thats it… the next village, and the one after that was pretty much the same.

11350558_10155660752435302_5090807812016642951_n11062872_10155660752685302_5632450308146934404_n11401256_10155660753085302_4896867859642942003_n

We ventured into the only restaurant Spongano played host to, a charming little family run place called ‘Picalo’, we struck lucky in that they were launching a new menu that night, so as long as we didn’t mind sampling their new menu then we could eat. Of course, we said no problemo and went on to enjoy a lovely evening of mixed antipasti, a pasta course of local semolina pasta with incredible tomato sauce, then some sweet treats and a few bottles of homemade lemoncello (and that’s a whole other story).

11407146_10155660761025302_391079837580555269_n

The next day, after a house breakfast in the courtyard (a ritual I still miss) we hopped in our hire car and headed to the beautiful coastal town of Castro. Our trip coincided with the annual water bike championship, so with the sounds of jetskies in the air we strolled around the marina and enjoyed the views with a cliff top pizzeria.

11406901_10155660754255302_3940014927775375332_n 11148378_10155660755180302_385552084312601555_n 11391106_10155660755665302_3758660632935052130_n 11350429_10155660756460302_8472948571956856406_n

In the eve we all doned our gladrags and headed to the soon to be Mr & Mrs Hunter-Felton villa for a few cocktails and our first experience of Italian hospitality, the drinks flowed freely and platter upon platter of incredible food came from the big mumma Italian kitchen. The cocktail party was lovely, a beautiful way of getting to know the rest of the wedding crowd before the big day. Adding to our bloggers holiday, I had the pleasure of meeting the charming Emilie from ‘Stella and the Stars’ (a fabulous interior style blog for those not in the know) and her beautiful daughter Stella, who was everyones best friend by the end of the holiday!

11412438_10155660756850302_8111482774955835880_n 11401367_10155660760140302_9220241522096330039_n 11390247_10155660759300302_5980348149883603423_n

Then of course, the big day happened… which I’ve already gushed over.

11329809_10155660802425302_6143798016048653565_n

On the Saturday morning, after a house breakfast courtesy of Beth (I definitely recommend travelling with a food blogger) the whole household headed to the big pink house for an all day pool party.

11391186_10155660802450302_5126703717965573781_n 11390258_10155660803060302_7620822630186010666_n 11391392_10155660807305302_868488414440584897_n 11391352_10155660807455302_6445623893786905934_n

The Italian hospitality continued this time with the help of an outdoor pizza oven. The day was spent in glorious sunshine, surrounded by beautiful friends and newly weds, with great food and delicious drinks and a few dive bombs for good measure.

11377199_10155660804460302_3149491365870169174_n 11062110_10155660810895302_6406773198953835885_n 11401226_10155660802940302_1184312127480204070_n 18895_10155660812490302_4637755424027025322_n 11403236_10155660810885302_6037993343071041427_n 11168125_10155660806740302_1534695103479259305_n

Sunday was a fun-day… this time we checked out Otranto, a nearby village…. the greying clouds were ominous when we arrived, and half way up a stack of steps leading to a fort, after the loudest clap of thunder I have ever heard, the heavens opened and we spent a funny 5 minutes taking shelter from the almighty rain that turned the steps into a waterfall…. A slight ease up in rain and we took our chances and legged it to a nearby restaurant (Il Castello), luckily, this restaurant had cover and good food.

11401339_10155660813510302_5902660365851489089_n 11401321_10155660814085302_3764270959127248548_n 11401185_10155660814840302_4490253496089757568_n 10298666_10155660815405302_4386202650204143024_n

By the time we’d finished up, the clouds were gone and the sun was back where it belonged… we strolled down the pretty little streets until we found the sea, a gelato bar and the most amazing antiques market. (yes unpractical gifts were purchased… Kelly definitely won thought with a wooden keg and glasses!)

10660143_10155660816955302_2883576041078024722_n1002378_10155660816810302_994665069676479995_n

We rounded up the day with a drink in a harbourside bar (very modern/chic….not really our thing) before heading back to to the car and returning to the villa. A catnap and a change of clothes later we headed out to a nearby village for (I quote) the best pasta in the region…. The restaurant was called Trattoria Iolanda in the village of Lucugnano and the pasta was mighty fine. I rewarded my taste buds with a change from the usual tomato sauce and had an incredible chickpea and ‘noodles’ in broth, it was incredible!! I also sampled some horse-meat (a local delicacy) and it was scrumptious! We returned home happy and full and has a good nights sleep!

11377158_10155660817080302_7263481294849640574_n11401485_10155660817265302_3857559956586194789_n

Finally Monday was here and our Italian adventure nearly at an end… Once the villa was tidied, the final breakfast enjoyed, our bags packed, we bid our Italian home a goodbye and enjoyed a leisurely roadtrip back to the airport with regular stops along the way…. First port of call was Lecce, A bit too ‘big city’ for me, but our next stop ‘Polignano A Mare’ was just beautiful. After a bit of a hunt for lunch, we had a speedy pizza lunch and dipped our toes in the Mediterranean sea at the prettiest little beach cove you ever did see!

11412328_10155660820615302_259946688613924278_n 11406905_10155660821490302_7807545544148018751_n 11393259_10155660821540302_5990004115525605591_n 11401405_10155660822155302_6988960574172151952_n

Then it was back in the car, back to Bari airport and home for 2 sleepy travellers.

11401161_10155660822475302_827223665908359649_n

Italy, we love you and we will be back! x

Advertisements