True confessions time: when people ask me if I’m travelling with someone else, I always say something vague and polite about “Oh I don’t know anyone on the same schedule as me” but what I really mean is, “I love travelling alone and I’ve sort of forgotten how to travel with other people anyway.”
But travelling to Lecce and the surrounding region with B. was great fun. It helped that we had a logical division of labour — she has the history knowledge to make sense of the places we saw, I have enough Italian to translate informational plaques about them. Or this sign at an altar in the basilica at Gallipoli, clearly posted by someone who’s Had It With These Tourists:
IT IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN TO MOVE THE CANDLES, ESPECIALLY FOR TAKING PHOTOS
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I’ve lived in Turin for 3 years now, and the more I get to know Italy the more I feel like I’ve hardly seen it at all. I’ve “done” the tourist trifecta of Rome, Florence and Venice, and I’ve made the odd weekend trip to slightly less common destinations like Bologna, Genova and Naples, but almost all my travel has focused on the big cities. I’ve barely been to the mountains, I’ve never found a beach that wasn’t crowded (well, I did once… in February), my knowledge of the smaller towns around here is limited to being able to say, “yup, this looks like a northern town, alright” as I stand in a stereotypical piazza with a church and some cafes.
And the thing is, when I do finally get out of the city, I love it. Continue reading →