Polignano a Mare and Monopoli


Polignano a Mare and Monopoli

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The next morning I took a bus to the Bari airport. I had asked for Economy or Mini  sized car but they were out so gave me what seemed to me a big car at the same price. Frankly smaller is often better in Italy since the streets in old towns are pretty narrow. In any case the Citreon C3 “picasso” was kind of a mini-SUV but we managed OK. Since it was a diesel it was economical to drive because it gets better mileage and diesel fuel costs less than gasoline in Italy. We drove out of the city with only a couple of wrong turns and stayed for 3 days near Monopoli. It was outside the city which was a good idea considering parking difficulties in cities but finding it was a real adventure. After several calls to Martino (whose place it was) we finally connected and he led us to the place. It was OK but certainly nothing special but the price was relatively economical. Once there it was pretty easy to go wherever we wanted. We ate lunch the first day in Polignano a Mare which is a charming little town with a spectacular sea inlet. I did a big post on that last year (combined with a stay at Fasano) that you can find by clicking here.

Same stairs in Polignano as last year but the owner has changed the poem

Same stairs in Polignano as last year but the owner has changed the poem

Especially in some of these smaller towns in Puglia and for all I know in smaller towns elsewhere in Italy it is not uncommon to see a bunch of guys sitting around in a piazza on a nice day. Some of them bring their own chairs and they often are in constant animated conversation.

I always wander what these guys are talking about.

I always wander what these guys are talking about.

We enjoyed Monopoli with all of the twisty turny streets in the old town and one really exceptional meal at La Guazzetto. The food is really good in Puglia and since there seems to be almost nothing more than 15 or 20 miles of a sea there tends to be terrific seafood everywhere. Also a specialty of Puglia is “cucina povera” (food of poverty) which can be very good. People become very innovative when they need to make the most of what they have. There are lots of pastas with fresh pasta made with only flour (often semolina) and water in contrast to that made also with eggs in the more affluent north. Also sometimes rather than cheese the pasta is sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs. Everyone in Italy raves about food in the south and for good reason.

Lovely fountain in an out of the way park in Monopoli. They like octopi as much as I do.

Lovely fountain in an out of the way park in Monopoli. They like octopi as much as I do.

The fort at Monopoli

The fort at Monopoli

Can't resist a selfie

Can’t resist a selfie

Graffiti everywhere - including a cannon.

Graffiti everywhere – including a cannon.

More of the fort with view of boats through the porta.

More of the fort with view of boats through the porta.

Building a big wooden boat

Building a big wooden boat

Il Guazzetto - great trattoria in Monopoli

Il Guazzetto – great trattoria in Monopoli

Mmmmm.

Mmmmm.

Orecchietti - a regional specialty

Orecchietti – a regional specialty

Love them fried fishy things! Especially those tiny squid.

Love them fried fishy things! Especially those tiny squid.

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2 Responses to “Polignano a Mare and Monopoli”

  1. Helen Says:

    Love your musings, Joe. Makes us yearn for Italy and a place at the table!

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks Helen. I hope to see you in Italy again one of these days. Maybe in the spring?

    Joe

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