The goal for today: pick up rental car, figure out where to park it and finally GO somewhere.
We were surprised rather early, had to scramble to get dressed, by Gianni, our landlord. He brought us a small tray of absolutely delicious almond cookies, and was there to help us get all the directions straight for the car.
The Porta Napoli was something we hadn’t seen yet and it was kind of on our path to Hertz. On our way, we stopped for much needed coffee. We both got doppios, and found the beautiful Porta Napoli, the main gate to the city designed to resemble the Arc de Triumphe in Paris.
After enjoying those two pieces, we headed south on a long street which goes through the university part of town. We had to keep walking through an area Gianni had warned us was “scomodo”, literally meaning uncomfortable, but loosely translated, sketchy. But we walked on and finally made it to the Hertz place and got a cute little Fiat. So then we had to drive it (well, Ken did) through town to the place where Gianni owns a lot we could park on for free. No problem! We have our best friend from Google maps talking us through every turn. She’s an angel of the first degree.
Arriving at the gated lot, Gianni showed me how to open it with the key which required all my strength to unlock. We parked in there and visited a bit more with him, picking wild blackberries.
We stopped in at the “Mello” grocery store for some basics including local cheese which is a soft, young pecorino. Love it! Went by the bakery for fresh bread, too. So lunch happened.
We took a rest, did laundry, and read for a while. Around 3ish we headed for Gallipoli, only a half hour away, on the Ionian Coast. So we go to see a new sea we’d never seen before. I find that down right exciting! Again, Google was my best friend.
We strolled all around and in and out of the streets of Gallipoli. They are getting ready for a big festa this weekend for the saints Cosma and Domiano so the already kitchy town is all decorated with banners and lights and more. People on streets are selling sponges and beachy jewelry. It was an interesting juxtaposition with this once totally poor, still geologically gorgeous and now touristy town.
We got home around 7 ish and neither of us was very hungry so we went to a street, via Umberto, in the old town where there are a bunch of wine bars. We chose Enoteca Shui. Next door is Mama Elvira, a favorite on TA but I resisted and picked Shui for the simple reason that they had backs on the chairs and Franciacorta on the blackboard. Turned out the Franciacorta was only by the bottle (boo hiss) so we tasted 3 local reds, primitivo, nero d’avola and negro amaro–5 euros each full glass. I liked the Primitivo best. I got a plate of fave e cichoria which suited me fine but not near as good as we had here previously. Ken had spaghetti pomodoro which was just OK.
I have to say, the service was spotty and the music was god awful!
Tab–34 euros. Won’t be going back again.
We walked back home and watched Bloodline and then to bed.