Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Exploring Polignano a Mare

We wake up in Polignano and take a look at the views up and down the coast from our hotel room window.

Views outside

Leaving the hotel, we walk down the Via Roma, mostly empty at this time of day, but with a few places open for breakfast.

Quite in the morning


After our chocolate croissants and cappuccinos, we walk a few more blocks down Via Roma to Polignano's old town, entering through the Porta Vecchia gate and wandering the narrow streets.

Porta Vecchia gate into old town

Periodically, we find small piazzas with views of the Adriatic Sea and the city overlooking it.

Peeks at the sea

The shops and restaurants are colorful and full of great treats.

Colorful displays

Leaving the old town, we walk over to see where the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is taking place, an annual event that fills the town with spectators and competitors.

Cliff diving

Walking a little further, we come on the statue of Domenico Modugno, author of the song Volare.

Domenico Modugno

And, nearby, we find a creative us of Volkswagon vans:  food and beverage stands.

VW shops

And, a fabulous discovery as we approach lunch time:  the restaurants have octopus sandwiches!  Some stands offer a combination of an Aperol spritz and polpo panini, with long lines.

Options for lunch

We stop and have octopus panini, ham and cheese panini and Aperol spritzes.

Spritz and paninis

After lunch, we wander back through old town and along the sea to the more modern parts of town, focusing on the beautiful view of the sea.

Strolling along the sea

And, for our final view today, we return to our hotel and look straight out the window at the sea.  It doesn't get much better than this!

View out the hotel window

What a great place!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Arriving in Polignano a Mare, Italy

We travel all day by train from Monterosso al Mare in northern Italy on the Mediterranean to Polignano a Mare on the Adriatic in southern Italy.  We change trains in Rome (and two other towns) and that gives us a great lunch a block or two from the Rome train station.

Perched on a 20-meter limestone cliff overlooking the Adriatic, Polignano dates back to the 4th century BC when Greek settlers found the city of Neapolis Pueceta and the strategic location allowed for control of the shipping trade towards the Ionian Sea.  Under the Romans, Polignano served as a station along the Trajan Way connecting Rome to Brindisi, flourishing as a trade center.  In the 11th century, the local economy thrived on olive oil; now it is dependent on tourism, agriculture, and fishing.

We arrive in Polignano just after dark and walk from the train station through the city to the sea.

Walking through Polignano a Mare

Polignano is hosting the Cliff Diving World Series, sponsored by Red Bull, this week and we arrive to a concert in the park also sponsored by Red Bull.

Concert and party in the park

We stop at a small bar a few blocks from the concert for an aperitif and find many drinks made with Red Bull (sponsor of the concert and the diving) mixed with various alcohols and a slogan to live by.

Stopping for cocktails

In our room at the hotel, we look out the window at the Adriatic and see the buildings of the village perched above the sea.

Looking left and right out the hotel window

We're looking forward to daylight and a new city and coastline to explore!