Travelling South – 5 September
Leaving Abruzzo, we headed down the coast, driving through Molise, Puglia and finally into Basilicata for our stay in Matera. As soon as we crossed into Puglia, the terrain changed significantly, becoming very stark – dry, flat and very smoky! The town called Foggia sure lived up to its name. It was also pretty dirty, with a lot of garbage along the side of the road.
We were quite glad to hit the coastal town of Trani for a brief interlude of turquoise sea and white buildings along the waterfront (although the entry to the town was not great, reminding us of Naples). We parked in a parking area near the marina. With our car full of luggage and screaming tourist, we didn’t want to venture too far for a bite to eat. In our haste, we were fortunate to stumble across a little bakery / focaccia shop. Seemed like a mother and son place, and they were sooooo friendly, a bit of a comedy act. The egg and ham pie that had just come out of the oven was amazing and cheap!! We sat at a table outside, munching away and enjoying the view of the yachts and the marina.
We decided on a bit of a detour to get to Matera, getting of the main roads. It was so worth it! We stopped at Altamura, a town with a lovely historical centre that was being set up for what we assumed to be their local festival. Siesta time is a good time to arrive as the parking is free (nothing is open). We managed to find a little coffee shop in the main square – and it was full of guys from a wedding party.
Arrival in Matera was a bit challenging as we had to wind our way along the stone street to our accommodation, unpack and go and park outside the centre (Sasso as it’s called). So we were ready to relax over dinner at a restaurant near the hotel.