Summer holidays in italy! Sounds great and is great! Driving by car and sleeping in tents is cheapest and most flexible. And as long as the weather is fine and dry – most fun.
After crossing the alps, passing the beautiful Lakes Lugano and Como, the big cities Milano, Bologna and Rimmini, we reached the first stop Fano at the adriatic sea. The sandy beaches are wide and full of wonderful mussels.
On day two we made an excursion to the town of Urbino, the birthtown of the famous 15th century artist Raffael. In the old town on a hill, surrounded by a wall, a medieval festival took place that day. The atmosphere was so special: craftsmen, artists, exquisite food, people in wonderful robes, musicians with old instruments showed parts of medieval life.
In the middle of this lively festival we found a calm and beautiful place to relax and refresh – the botanical garden.
On day three we packed everthing back into the car and took the way south. Next stop was Loreto. A place of pilgrimage for the catholic church. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Like Urbino, this very old town is situated on hill, so you can see it long before you arrive. You must leave the car outside the centre and walk to the Piazza della Madonna. A beautiful and inspiring place.
After visiting the church Basilica della Santa Casa with the white marble facade and taking lunch we went on the road again. In the late afternoon we reached Vieste.
Day four was a chilling day at the campground Camping Arizona Vieste and the sandy beach.
We left the beautiful Gargano Region at day five on the narrow coastal road.
Our destination was the mysterious Castell del Monte. On a hill, visible from far away, rises this octogonal castle made of white sand stone with octogonal towers, built in 1240. A very impressing building and no one could find out the real function or reason for its establishment.
But this was not the place we wanted to stay for the night, because already in Puglia, we wanted to see these funny buildings called trulli!
Since I was a child, I was fascinated by these trulli but could never before see them in reality. So this journey wasn`t only a wonderful holiday with my three children, it was the realization of old dreams for me. Nothing better than visiting these places together and making common memories! Lucky me!
So we went to Alberobello:
and spent day six there.
This day we finished at the campground “Camping dei Trulli”, swimming in the pool, having Wifi and doing laundry.
Day seven started early at the Grotte di Castellana before the crowds arrived. This is a large cave complex in the karst system with maaaaany stalactites and stalagmites!
The largest cavity is 40 metres high and the itinery has several kilometres.
After this interesting cave tour we drove to Matera, the town of the “sassi”, where cave houses are used since stone age.
This town has also been location for films. Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1964 and Mel Gibson in 2004 made movies here. Matera will be Culural Capital of the European Union 2018.
At day eight we left Alberobello, passed the Valle d`Itria, Ostuni and stayed some hours at Lecce.
Lecce is the most beautiful baroque town in the south of italy and famous for figurines of holy people made of paper-mache.
After espresso and ice-cream we left for Marina di Leuca. This is the south-east tip of italy!
The next day we enjoyed sun and sea at Camping Villa Paradiso.
Day ten was a long drive from Leuca to Tropea, from the Ionian Sea to the Thyrrenian Sea.
The campground Marina del Convento has the best location, directly at the beautiful beach of Tropea!
This is one of the best sunset locations ever! The sun falls into the sea beside the vulcano island of Stromboli.
The right place for happy days….swimming, making laundry…..admiring stunning sunsets with a bottle of limoncello…shopping marzipan, chilis and herb mixtures…
The italians themselves spend their holidays in Tropea and we could have stayed longer, but…..
Day thirteen we packed again and drove to Paestum. Camping dei Pini was our place to stay – under huge pine trees.
Paestum is an archeological sensation in the region Kampania and impresses with 2500 year old greek temples!
The town Poseidonia was founded by the greeks 600 B.C.
This were the first two weeks of the journey and much to see ahead!