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Ad Meliora

That’s French Baby. I mean, That’s Latin Baby. I got my Marvin Gaye mixed up with my Quintus Horatius.

Goodbye Lecce grandeur.
Goodbye Lecce grandioso.

We walked Lecce for the last time after breakfast.  What a beautiful morning (if a tad hot; 28.5 at nine a.m.).

After check-out we drove the ridiculously short distance to Nardo.  Free parking.  Public toilets, no fee.  You would have thunk we were in the UK.  A lovely stroll around the car-free old town then met up with our hosts midday.  It’s hard to describe our place for the next three days except to say it’s exceptional: Three floors, two and a half baths, two bedrooms, a deck with a palapa off the kitchen, a mammoth roof deck including a cooktop and shower, 43 steps from street to roof, and, yes, a fresco (they discovered one in the reno, what can you do it?).

Ground floor bedroom.
Ground floor en suite.
So, like, they discovered frescoes in the reno. Frecoes, check.
The kitchen. Pass through to the deck window a nice touch; like the Dutch doors in the Mothers in Law.
Adult dining table or the kid’s table. You choose.
Second bedroom with en suite and “swing” bathroom door.
Good light.
White light.
Steps to the roof deck and “second” kitchen.
Only four churches in view from roof. Low marks on the churches in view scale.

We sorted all the check in, settled in, and then relaxed.  It was quiet and hot.  Nothing was open.  A lot of Europe does “dual day” trading but the south of Italy, the deep south, is hard core.  Closed from 11:30 or noon to five.  Some closed to five thirty.  Some closed to six.  Restaurants that don’t even open until eight.  Four in the afternoon?  Deadsville.

And when I write deadsville, you know I mean it. At 4 p.m. not a soul. Anywhere.
Here’s the “bustling” central piazza early afternoon. Crickets.
The Monsignor asked to have the palm taken down but Gregor Robertsonius denied it.

As per any Italian town, too many churches. The Duomo, though, with its mix of Romanesque frescoes and baroque kitsch was a must.

We took dinner in a fancy-ish fish restaurant and while the food was good I was a bit put off eating inside.  Later we walked the piazza which was lively and entertaining.  From our roof, at 10 p.m., the town was anything but dead, a theme park of kids playing and screaming, adults a bit tipsy, the aromas of dinner, the din of dinner conversations. Then, as if by osmosis, just before 11 p.m., everyone retired to their private spaces.

The central piazza at evening. Awesome.
Street home in the evening (or, as it’s known in Vancouver, night).
Arriving home after dinner.
Lights on in the bedroom.
Lights on in the kitchen.
In the breezy evening air on the roof.

HereHare

The author of Here Hare has traveled to over 45 countries on six continents, and has lived in Canada, the UK and Australia.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. What a joy that you took the time to savor Salento and my beloved Nardò! Your writing and pictures warm my heart. I hope you will return again and again as the true “slow” traveler is rewarded with all the gems of this region!

    1. Yes it was really unexpected. The tourists on the coast who don’t venture 20 minutes inland are really missing out. Nardo seemed to mix the sleepy, slowness of the south with a productive, working town. It has a darker, rustier tone in the dusk light than, say, Lecce, and the feel of authenticity. I hope it doesn’t get “too” touristy.

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