Summers in Italy tend to end with a bang and that is certainly true in Puglia. Last year the best summer for 240 years ( they have long memories down here) it ended with a storm in October , but normally the end of August is when summer calls time.
The big storm continues to rumble around us as I type today having started at lunchtime. Summer will linger on with odd days of very warm weather but Autumn will show itself more and more as September progresses with storms, rain and cooler and cooler evenings.
To be fair this as the papers say is a summer that never really arrived. Two mini heat waves lasting no more than 5 days but otherwise pleasant but not hot days.
The tourists from the north are unhappy with it as are the beach venders, the Lido owners and the restaurants . The manual workers who frequent the bars we use have been delighted with it and consider it the finest for years.
But tomorrow most of the Northerners will load up their cars and start the long slow trek back up the autostrada. The mobile home park by the beach which this morning was 90% full will on Monday be almost a ghost town . We can start going back to restaurants again after a three week hiatus and can drive again without permanently holding one’s breath as another Milanese in a BWM or Audi overtakes you on a blind bend with 4 unbelted kids in the backseat of the car.
We now start to look forward to the vendemmia ( grape harvest) and worry about heavy rain and hail doing terrible damage to them before the harvest begins round the 21st of September.
Still it’s nice to get Puglia back after the madness of the three weeks of August . The only tourists we contend with in September are Brits dressed mainly from central casting for a Merchant Ivory film scene ‘doing’ baroque with flying visits to all the centro storico.
If I can help here is my simple guide to avoid tourist traps in Martina Franca :
Trust me a coffee shop by the main gate to the centro storico is a definite tourist trap. find the one just down the side road to the right
Looking for a lunchtime pizza
the Two Lambs has tourist written all over it doesn’t it even the name; come in and be fleeced !
Just around the corner
they put tables out at lunchtime and in the evening.
Of course you could buy a couple of panini and sit by the fountain instead.
The rain has stopped the sky is clearing and the bar awaits.
Enjoy your weekend.