Friday, July 23, 2010

Livin the good life

So I just got back from day 3 of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Following Rome, our road trip headed to the heel of Italy's boot to a city called Lecce. While Lecce might not be famous for foreign tourists, it is one of the hottest spots for Italian tourists looking for vacation. This means a few things: 1. I'm relying on Nicola and his Italian more than ever and 2. This is the most raw real Italian I'll be getting on my journey. Anyways this has been a much needed break from the hustle of tourism and sight-seeing and I've been getting tanner by the day.

A typical day in Lecce starts with waking up around 9-10 to hit up the Bed and Breakfast complementary breakfast. Hostels are non existent in this small city but Bed and Breakfasts are cheap and affordable. Our room is incredibly spacious and it is roughly the same price as all the other places we've stayed (WITH AIR CONDITIONING!). Lecce is awesome because it is incredibly close to nearly all coasts and a huge variety of amazing beaches. Each day we've gone to a different part of the heel, and so after breakfast we'd get ready, grab our stuff, and head off to the beach of the day. At the beach we'd go in the water and lay out until lunch, then take a break at one of the bars along the coast, then go back and repeat. Because of the amount of time under the sun a few hours later we usually get some Granita or Ice Cream to cool off and take a break. Then we have one more section of rest/relaxation before driving back to our B&B. The water at these beaches is crystal clear and is a color only seen in the finest of postcards. They've all been pretty busy, but that doesn't stop us from enjoying the amazingly warm Mediterranean and soft tropical sand.

Back at the Bed and Breakfast, we take a shower, rest for a bit, then head to dinner. Depending on the price of dinner we'd go and get some Gelato and walk around the city or just walk around the city and enjoy. Lecce itself is even smaller than Florence but it's full of activity. Nearly every night we've been here there has been a concert in their old gladiator stadium. On the streets they have ridiculous sales and lots of souvenirs but I've done my best to resist on my budget. After some walking around we head back to our B&B and sleep to wake up and repeat.

I have one full day left of this dream life before it's off to London so I plan on making the most of it. Noone speaks English here so it'd definitely be hard to return without an English-speaking Italian friend, but I'd highly suggest it to anyone who has some knowledge of the language. Lecce is incredibly cheap (for Italian standards) which has been nice. An example of this is that a huge double scoop of Gelato is only 1.50 and they have these tourist menu dinners for 12 euro that have three courses and water included. If you tried to get the same in nothern Italy it would be over 30 or 40 euro. So yah the beach life is nice, and it's been nice to just rest and relax...the perfect way to end an epic (if not a bit pricey) Italian road trip.

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