We landed in Bari in Italy yesterday to start our two week holiday by the sea in sunny Puglia in southern Italy. It was a warm and dry day, and driving out of Bari towards the coast, there was really no scenery to recommend it. But we began it with a nice lunch in the lovely and historic town of Lecce.
WHAT TO DO IN LECCE
But eventually we reached Lecce, a prosperous and ancient Roman town with beautiful architecture. It’s the perfect size. It’s big enough to have some sophistication, but small enough to walk around in in a day and feel happy.
We didn’t have a particular itinerary on this trip to southern Italy, and deliberately so. Practically every hour of my Travelife is usually accounted for because I like seamless trips, and I actually dislike missing out on some great dining and sightseeing experiences just because I didn’t do any advance planning for it.
HOW NOT TO PLAN A HOLIDAY IN ITALY
But just before Italy, I was just way too busy. I’d hosted several lunches and dinner, packed enough work for a month into my only week in Manila between trips, and just had my hands full. So when we arrived in Puglia for our Travelife, I had no maps, guidebooks or printouts.
Just a vague reservation at a hotel I’d never heard of and a document guaranteeing that I had a Jaguar SUV waiting for me at the airport packing lot. I had no idea where to go or what to do.
USING SKYROAM ON HOLIDAY
But everything always works out in a Travelife. With the aid of my Skyroam, I used the two-hour drive to get to Lecce, the biggest city on the coast of Puglia, to check out what to do and where to eat in Puglia on my phone.
This was still a #Travelife, after all, so my requirements for a really good lunch, the real deal gelato and a nice walk around the city were non-negotiable.
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN LECCE
We booked the best restaurant in Lecce for lunch from my phone using a new App I just downloaded. The prices at this local restaurant were about the same as the price for lunch a fancy Italian restaurant in Tokyo. This was rather a surprise, but the food was done in a new style for me and rather nice.
I had a very fresh local buratta from Noci, which is near Bari, to start and a plate of raw seafood caught from the sea a few kilometers away. I order fresh buratta everywhere in Italy when I see it on the menu, by the way, because Italy is the only place in the world you can get the real burrata.
A NEW KIND OF PASTA
The biggest surprise for lunch was a seafood pasta I ordered simply because this entire holiday by the sea will be about seafood. The noodles were homemade and perfectly al dente, and on these rested coarsely chopped raw shrimps and heavy cream, that needed mixing. Then there was just a hint of lemon oil.
This was certainly a combination I would never have thought of. And what a nice surprise on the first day of my holiday in Puglia, and it was definitely an omen of things to come for this holiday on the wild side of Italy, living a Travelife.