Celebrating my birthday in Italy was the best! It’s so sad to be back. I just flew in last night and I’m already craving another vacation. Brightside—Chicago’s forecast is promising this week, although it’s not smart to get your hopes up about the weather in this city.
While abroad, I visited Apulia and Basilicata located in Italy’s heel—regions I had never traveled to before. Not many tourists reach this area, which is a huge plus. High season attracts so many people that it requires full attention just to navigate through the massive crowds to see the city! With much fewer people in the streets, it’s easier to appreciate the incredible beauty of the towns that inhabit these regions.
Apulia is made up of many little villages—all tiny and adorable. Lecce is the most well-known, with its baroque architecture, as the Florence of the south. I stayed at Hotel Borgo Egnazia. So chic. It’s a luxurious resort with all you need including three relaxing pools, delicious restaurants, and two beaches less than a 10-minute car ride away. Everything in the hotel is built in light vanilla-colored stone creating a dreamy vibe.
In Basilicata, I stayed at the Sextantio, a hotel where you live in actual caves. The experience is amazing—the caves are dark and quite, with candles lighting up the rooms. It creates a romantic feel, so it was the perfect place to be at with my babe! The main destination in the region is Matera, which is only accessible after climbing many stoney stairs on foot to reach its location. The workout is beyond welcome after daily Italian carb overload. Upon seeing that the outside is a labyrinth of abandoned caves, the town center is a pleasant surprise—it’s fresh, young, and lively. Hopping from one cafe for coffee, to the next for wine, and to yet another for pasta while sitting outside and people watching makes for a fabulous day.