We are going to Matera

Matera in Basilicata

In just under 2 months we head back to Italy for a holiday. This trip we were keen to visit Puglia – the heel of Italy’s boot – and see what this often overlooked province offered.

In the end we will miss by a few kilometres and will be staying, instead, in Matera in the province of Basilicata. So not in the heel of the boot, more in the area between the sole and the heel.

Matera is known as “la Città Sotterranea” (the Subterranean City) because historically many of the dwelling were effectively caves in the hillside. It is one of the longest continuously inhabited places on earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Park.

It is only recently that Matera has become a must-see for visitors to Italy and we will be staying 3 nights at Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel – breaking up a fortnight spent staying in Positano which is a two hour drive away on the coast.

Matera at night

Our holiday is completed by a week in Chianti in a beautiful villa organised by our dear friend Olga, and a few days in Rome – a chance to reintroduce ourselves to this eternal city.

We fly out of Wellington at the beginning of August. Watch the blog for holiday updates.

What a great time to fly

tuscan-sunset-crete

Tuscany in October 2011

If you are thinking of heading overseas next year – check out the early bird airfare deals that are available at the moment. We’ve just booked our flights to Italy next August and it cost $600 less than exactly the same flights in 2015.

We’ve also booked Villa Arienzo for two weeks over Positano festival time and plan to spend a week in Tuscany when we will catch up with friends.

The fourth week? We are thinking of heading to the heel of Italy to explore Apulia as we’ve never been to this part of Italy before.

 

Two days in Rome

At the end of our holiday we had two days in Rome. It was a chance to visit some favourite places of ours as well as some new places. We stayed at Hotel Barocco in one of their junior suites – which meant we had an outdoor patio to relax on – four floors above Piazza Barberini. It was a real luxury.

As always we were looked after superbly with nothing being too much trouble. Which made it even harder to say goodbye and start the long trip home. The good thing is that we threw a coin into the Trevi fountain (well sort of as you can see from the photo) so we’ll be back.

Journey’s end

After 3 days travelling by plane, train and automobile we have arrived in Positano. Along the way we spent 3 hours in Auckland, 4 hours in Hong Kong, 25 hours in the air and a day and a night in Rome.

New Zealand farewelled us with chilling rain on a grey day and Positano welcomed us with sun, warmth and gentle breezes. The delights of jet lag haven’t quite left us yet so currently a late night is 8pm and a “sleep in” is 5am. We know that will change as the wonderfully pedestrian pace of life in Positano takes over.

As always everyone has looked after us superbly – from the welcome sight of the hotel driver at Rome airport to our room being ready for us at 8am when we arrived at Hotel Barocco. The ability to drop our bags and freshen up was a lifesaver – and no mean feat for the hotel as they were fully booked the previous night but still they managed to get our room ready in record time.

The trip south by train was blissfully uneventful and relaxing with none of the hassles that accompany air travel – although recent events in France and Belgium may change that.

The welcome at Eden Roc was as warm as ever with time spent catching up on events of the last year – had the changes to the hotel that were talked about last been made? No, too much beaurcracy and too little time  – maybe next year. Were all the staff well, who had left and who was new? All the usual characters were still part of the team – plus some new faces – it has been a good year. Were we in for good weather or was the recent rain going to dampen our holiday? No, the weather had settled and we could expect hot, dry days.

The afternoon was spent enjoying a late lunch/early dinner on the hotel terrace looking out over Positano and the bay beyond. Let the relaxing begin.

Some randomness

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I have had a collection of random photos building up on my desktop for a while. Shots that I liked but which had no real story attached to them – other than they might be useful for a blog sometime in the future. Today … Continue reading