Interested in Puglia? Here’s the Scoop.

We’re hosting weekly info and Q&A sessions to discuss the Puglia Bike Trip. Here is a summary of what we cover.

1. ITINERARY

You can view the itinerary here:
http://piccolinaadventures.com/docs/puglia/bikingpuglia2014-15.pdf

Puglia is one of those places that continuously fills me with magic and wonder!! Hope it will do the same for you too!

The itinerary is crafted from my own personal experience and the recommendations of local friends. So we go visit Mamma Maria who taught me to make Puglia’s orecchiette pasta, and she teaches our group, not only to make pasta, but an entire meal as well! We visit Signore Fabio who welcomes our group each year with a party and live concert of folk music. Renato takes us out on his motorboat boat. And each trip is about having local friends share the beauty of their homeland with us. And having a good time. 🙂

2. GETTING THERE

We try to make it as easy on you as possible and coordinate the start/end of trip to coincide with the bullet train to/from Rome.
Travel suggestions are detailed here:
http://piccolinaadventures.com/docs/puglia/arriving_in_puglia.pdf

3. BIKES & RIDING

We ride quality Italian-made aluminum city touring bikes. They are good for the mixed-terrain riding we do. We also have van support on road for the longest rides. Pace is relaxed.
http://www.bottecchia.com/tempolibero/categoria/trekking-city-it-it/

4. PACKING, WEATHER & PRE-DEPARTURE INFO

http://piccolinaadventures.com/docs/pred/puglia_pre_departure_june.pdf

Feel free to call or email with any questions!
Laura

June’s Bike Trip through Southern Italy – Lecce

I am writing from the steps of a beautiful church in the city of Lecce. It has a creamy limestone exterior, a painted wooden celieng, and both stone and paper machie statues decorating the inside. It’s quite spectacular and sitting in the shade of the big doors, it’s a comfortable place to write.

St Oronzo

St. Oronzo welcomes you to Lecce!

June 8th I left my house in San Francisco for London then Bologna then Brindisi in the region of Puglia in Italy. I left to lead an 11 day bike tour through the farmland, coast and olive orchards of this vibrant region. It’s been a very full month since then. So full, in fact, that I feel like I’ve been gone for two.

The bike trip was incredible. When I think of the trip, my thoughts come in images: colorful, vivid, intense; and in feelings: of optimism, excitement and freedom. We stayed in five different towns/settings, and had five sets of hosts, each one gave us a different experience.

at the table

Buon Appetito! Welcoming the new travelers to Lecce.

We began the trip in Lecce, the biggeset town on the Salento peninsula (which is the southern tip of the whole region of Puglia). Lecce, known as the “Florence of the South” called the “crowning jewel” or the “pearl” in a tour of Puglia, is built out of creamy white sandstone which dazzles in the day and glows at night.

The baroque exploded here after the city pulled out of the a period of brutal rulers and intense poverty. Out of those dark times, the city found new optimism and began to carve EVERYTHING. Alters, churches, lamps, figurines, magnets, tables, doorways. So Lecce is a beautiful city full of history, art and pleasant architecture. We spent our first few days exploring the city and its surroundings, and the garden balcony of our apartment. It’s shaded from the summer sun, with white and gray stone walls and overflowing with purple and red flowers and lush greenery. It was the prefect place for morning breakfast, for a simple lunch (fresh mozzarellas, wild arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes right off the vine), for a chilled glass of rose or the evening pizza dinner that our host Chiara and her daughter Maddalena (who’s like 8!) generously prepared for us.

a tavola

Yes that's fresh mozzarella, wild arugula, cherry tomatoes and chilled rose wine.

Walking through Lecce

Simona gives us a great tour of the city.

Pizza at Chiara's

The terrace at Chiara's B&B- where her and her daughter cooked homemade pizza for us our first night! She is just beginning to open her apartment as a B&B and welcomes other travelers there as well.