Part Quattordici (Matera to La Marche)

Tuesday 25th June

We left Marina del Cantone on the tip of the Amalfi coast near Capri and headed for Matera. I am getting used to windy hairpin roads and Molly copes admirably with the steep hills as we climb out of the Amalfi Coast.

We stop in a place called Scafati near Pompei and pick up a cooked chicken with potatoes to eat later. We end up eating it in a Lidl Carpark after doing some shopping .(5 star travelling)

We eventually reach Matera around 7pm after a long days driving. We find a motorhome site in a quarry with good shade, but when we enquire about shuttle to Matera mentioned in reviews they say they are not running one this yeast. They recommend a park about a mile away who does run one and so we head there.

A bit shattered after a day in the saddle

Wednesday 26th June

The motorhome site is on a Kart Track owned and run by Gian Franco and his family. He invites us in to his office and then gets a map of Matera and goes though all the places we should visit and where to stop for ice cream and special cakes (called Tetas) local to the area that look like tits.

As Gian says “normally you can look at and sometime feels tits but you can only eat them in Matera”

We board his shuttle bus and head into the centre to start our tour with all the information from Gian .

We have been to Matera before, but we forgot how beautiful this place is.It is quite unique.

People have lived here for over 10,000 years in caves. As people started to keep animals as opposed to hunting them they stayed here and started building facades over the front of the caves. So the town is full of buildings which when you go inside they lead to caves.

There are some stunning sites especially at sunset.

Being inland the heat is harder to deal with than on the coast. Having been here before and seen the sites again we decide to head for the coast about 1.5 hours away. We stop in a place called Bisceglie not far from Bari in Puglia.

Thursday 27th June

We get up early and go for a run along the promenade / road along the coast.

After the run we go for a swim

Which is becoming a very enjoyable habit.

In the evening we walk into the old town of Bisceglie , another beautiful place.

We turn a corner and find a London bus selling London streetfood. Possibly cockles and Welks ? Or maybe steak and kidney pie ? .Just Italian food run by Italians but looks great.

We end up eating Pizza in a nice place frequented by locals. Very cheap and very good. First Pizza we have had in Italy.

Friday 28th June

We carry on up the coast to a headland that sticks out. If you look at a map of Italy , Puglia is the heal of the shoe.

This area is the lump on the back of the Ankle.

We have visited a lot of places in our 2 months on the road. This place is one of the best. The beach is amazing , it could be in Barbados. We are camped just behind in a Forrest with lots of shade and Bruce is allowed on the beach . It is as near perfect as you can get.

Spoke to quite a few people who come back here year after year. It is not difficult to see why.

Helen picks up a passenger on the beach.

Saturday 29th June

After a very relaxing day reading and swimming we catch a bus into the nearby town of Vieste .

It is a very pretty town. Lots of alleyways and nice little restaurants.

Had another Pizza

Then headed home on the bus with Bruce.

Sunday 30th June

Road trip in Molly means just that, so as much as we want to stay we need to move on and see what else Italy has to offer.

As we drive away from campsite we pass another idyllic bay. This place reminds me of the Amalfi coast without the people or the houses.

After about 3 hours driving along the coast we pull into a motorhome park on the side of the road. The site is fairly plain with not much shade, but it is near the beach. After parking up we walk through a gate

Into a wood which is a lot cooler.

Which leads to a beautiful beach with sand dunes which reminds me a bit of Comporta in Portugal . It is amazing what you find on a road trip.

We had a nice swim and relaxed under our new beach umbrella we bought in Vieste. It was all going so well until we saw two fairly angry Italians coming towards us. Bruce had gone for a wander and pissed on their towel. Not a way to win friends and influence people. we bid a hasty retreat back to Molly.

But Molly was to hot with no shade

So we brought table and chairs into the wood . Had a nice meal followed by some backgammon.

Monday 1st July

I decided to google information on were we are. We were close to an area called La Marche and i read an article with lots of information and tips on places to visit. There were two places in particular that stood out. A town inland called Ascoli Piceno and a coastal place called Portonovo near Ancona.

We start the drive to Ascoli Piceno which is about 3 hours away . After a few hours we stop for a coffee at a bar by the side of the road. Fairly plain outside but inside it is decorated so well with lots of books and comfy seating.

We order a wine and a coffee and also receive a fairly large plate of tapas.

And as usual the lady behind the bar falls in love with Brucie

Much refreshed we continue our journey and finally arrive at Ascoli Piceno. The town is mostly built from Travertine.

We walk around the little alley ways and streets , it is a stunning place.

But as much as we like it , inland towns this time of year are hot. No place to park with shade so decide to carry on to our beach destination.

It is a small headland near Ancona. Lots of hills and beautiful beaches. The site is basic and a bit tired but the area more than makes up for it.

As the sun was setting we had to go for a swim.

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