Bits and Pieces

I misread the comments from my post on Saturday and thought they were a bit of a spoof. I thought I was being asked to name all the beaches in that video by Larry and Robin but now think that maybe they were just looking at the one that showed on the blog page.

As a bit of a beach fanatic I have on several occasions toured the Salento region south of Lecce and visited quite a few beaches . I don’t recognise that one but would imagine it must be south of Otranto on the East coast. The West coast is mainly sandy beaches and indeed some are superb. certainly most are in the video and the really busy one is definitely Gallipoli which has become too crowded for comfort in the last couple of years.

The drive from Otranto to Leuca through the National Park is quite spectacular and there are numerous coves like the one in the photo  to stop and swim off the rocks if the mood takes you. Take some of those really clever beach shoes that let the water out when swimming but allow you to clamber over the rocks to get in and out without looking like a real wimp.

Rock swimming shoes

Those are mine by the way which I fear might scare the few fish actually left in the Adriatic away.


If you have the time it is nice to take a picnic with a few bottles of good Salento wine and enjoy the views and have a siesta in the afternoon.

I have a friend in France who for two weeks a year sets off in his car and tours a wine region stopping at small wineries and sampling their produce before buying the odd case to imbibe during the rest of the year. He has quite a big car so his year is not spent rationing the stock I hasten to add.

I have often dreamt of doing this here in Puglia but on the odd foray out have had no success at all. Either failing to find the winery or finding it after ages of endless searching only to discover it closed. I am not sure I would really be any good at it anyway as I fear that I would find it difficult to just walk away if I didn’t like the wines on offer. As an ex salesman I tend to therefore be another salesmen’s dream. I appreciate the selling technique,  agree to all the open questions he/she asks and love the closing so much that I immediately follow the text book answer in all the training manuals and say yes please I’ll take three cases now with an option on the entire harvest. So unless I take a truck with me on a day out in wine country I would be home after one stop with a car chock full of a wine that I didn’t really enjoy at the tasting.

I was reading yesterday a rave revue written by several wine experts about a winery up near Gioia De Colle . There is a large Italian Air Force Base up there which was expanded by the Allies when they seized it in 1943 and used it to mount bombing raids on the German troops defending the rest of Italy. It also gained fame in the campaign against Col. Gaddafi in 2011 when the Royal Air Force flew out of there to operate the no fly zone overhead Libya. I remember reading that the RAF arrived with summer clothes in March expecting South Italy to be much warmer than the UK and quite quickly having to send home for the long johns and thermals.

The winery is called Guttarol and it seems they make some excellent but not too strong red wines under the name Amphora. I , however, was quite taken in by the nice label


Now you see why I am no good at this wine lark. Selecting wine by the label is like selecting horses in a flat race by the colour of the jockey’s shirt. Let me just say though that I have found this a better system than most when it comes to horse race betting.

I think it best rather than beating a path over the next few weeks to the  winery I stay home and drink what I enjoy

My wine

Now it sure ain’t a vintage . Indeed it needs to be decanted and almost frozen to death before drinking but it is €5 for 5 litres, tastes okay cold and is lowish alcohol so you can drink it until a few of the cows get home or certainly come over the horizon.  Plus there is no charming sales guy selling it to me as I sip it. It merely sits on a shelve at my local bar until I buy it .


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
This entry was posted in Grape Picking in Puglia, Italian Living, Puglia, Puglia Beaches, Puglia Cooking, Puglia Food, Puglia Lifestyle, Puglia Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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