After 10 days spent in Southern Italy, we are now back home and in the throes of getting back to normal.
We had a lovely time, starting off with a night in the city of Bari on the south east coast of Italy. It was a lovely city with a lovely old town area which very much reminded us of the ancient medinas in Morrocco. There are relics of Saint Nicholas in a church here, brought from Turkey many centuries ago. The old part of the city contained lots of small streets in which you could lose yourselves exploring. We didn't manage to get lost thankfully, but did enjoy perusing some of the small shops. This fabulous deli caught our eye with it's wonderful window display of meats and cheeses.
After a morning in Bari, we headed off to drive across the country to our rented villa on the Calabrian coast. It was situated on a hillside and had breathtaking views of the sea and coast below.
Once there, most days fell into a pattern of mornings on the beach reading, swimming, sunbathing, then back to the villa for lunch, relaxation and a swim in the pool, before heading out to explore the surrounding area. It was very restful (mosquitoes aside) and allowed us to fully recharge our batteries. Southern Italy is very rugged and beautiful and for the most part very unspoilt by tourism or artifice. The simplicity of life there was inspiring.
The weather was initially a little changeable with thunderstorms and lightning, followed by bright, hot sunny days, but we didn't let the former deter us, despite nearly getting blown off the beach one day, literally. We took off the odd day to explore other towns or do a spot of shopping, food mainly. I do enjoy shopping in supermarkets abroad. The differences in the foods for sale in them fascinate me. Call me strange, but particularly the flavours of yoghurts. I discovered a new favourite - almond - heavenly.
We had a little visitor to our villa most days, his name was Bobby, although we called him lots of different names before we found out his real one.
He would pop up to see us every lunchtime, probably for a few titbits, and would hang around for a while until we went out. He was a sweetie with a toothy grin, which I wasn't able to capture on film. When I first met him I wasn't sure if he was smiling or going to bite me. Thankfully it was the former. One particularly stormy day, we also had a visit from a couple of kittens, who camped out on the veranda to keep out of the storm. Sweet.
They all helped us not to miss our doggy so much, but we did get regular updates on her too, via text message.
At the end of our week in the villa we headed off to visit Salerno, the ruins at Pompeii and a small stretch of the Amalfi coast, before spending a couple of nights in Naples. These busy cities brought our feet back down to earth and we explored as much as we could in the time that we had available, before heading back to Bari to catch our flight home.
Despite having had a lovely holiday, nothing beats the feeling of returning home to the comfort of your own bed and familiar surroundings. We're all back home again now. The dog is getting back used to us. She's had a fabulous holiday too, with lots of doggy friends to keep her company. I'm now looking forward to enjoying what is left of the summer in this country.