29 August 2015

THE ITALIAN HOLIDAY ::: BARI ::: AUGUST '15

So you guys might be asking yourselves where the heck have I been the whole month of August, this is if you haven't been following my social pages. And the answer is Italy.

Bari Downtown (March '15)

I had three weeks of pure fun and relaxation with my Italian family in their hometown: Bari. The long awaited family summer holiday finally took place. The temperatures were always around 30ºC during the day and never went bellow 22ºC during the night. I'll be honest, sometimes it was a little too hot so the best thing to do was to stay indoors for a while. And do you know what hot weather means? Mosquitoes. And i suffered with them. I got bite scars all over my legs and arms now :( not good, Italy. Not good.

During this holiday I got to discover the most amazing little beaches which they call cala or lido. Here in this picture you can see the beach in Cozze, with a rocky coastline and sandy shallow turquoise waters.

Beach at Cozze

Drinks & Granita Seller at Cozze

Coco Beach Club at Cozze

We went to several beaches but I only got the chance to take pictures in Cozze, Porto Cavallo and the Lido Baia Del Sole in Monopoli.

Elise in Porto Cavallo (Miss Bunny swimsuit from Bari's Disney Store sales. Available now on eBay)

Elise in Lido Baia Del Sole in Monopoli. Unfortunately no pictures of the beach were taken here, but click the link to have a look at their website (swimsuit from Primark).

We got to travel around with Elise's uncle, aunt and two other friends. We got to visit places like Polignano A Mare, Monopoli, Mola Di Bari and Bari. 

Polignano's Beach

Polignano's Old Town

Details of Polignano's Old Town

I also visited Polignano in March this year and I got some pictures back then. It was still cold but you can get an idea of the town itself.
 

This time around we also visited Monopoli, during the religious festivities of Madonna della Madia, on the 14th of August. It was crazy crowded and since it was getting late already for Elise we had to leave just after the sunset. I was amazed at how calm and beautiful the sea was.

Monopoli Old Town during sunset

Monopoli Old Town

Details of Monopoli Old Town

Details of Monopoli Old Town

I've been to Conversano several times before and this time we only went there for a night out. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the town itself, except for a few portraits with the girls. It was a crazy photoshoot along the narrow streets of the Old Town. We surely had fun :) Just so you can have an idea, this town is not coastal but it has a castle and is composed of tall wide stairwells next to it and is full of narrow streets. Here you can see me in one the pictures we took along the cute little streets.


And last but not least I got some pictures in Bari. Bari is the main city of the region of Puglia and I just love it in there. It's a picturesque coastal city and there you can visit all the main attractions by just walking around.

Details of Bari's Old Town

And again, I didn't take that many pictures of the city itself, since I was there visiting back in March this year and last year as well. Here are some pictures of it last year.


But most importantly, let's talk about food. Everytime I travel to Italy to visit my boyfriend's family I feel the need to try the foods they eat, to know what they cook on a daily basis and exchange tips and experiences with them. And just like you would imagine, italians eat a lot of pasta and pizza. A lot. They literally eat pasta everyday, if they can. But amazingly, it's hard to find obese people in there, even though they devour carbs. Maybe it has to do with the simplicity of their dishes and how rarely they eat meat. But I might be wrong. Here's a glimpse of some dishes I had during my holiday.

Raw octupus, a delicacy from Bari

Raw seafood (octopus, squid, mussels, red shrimp, crayfish and smoked swordfish)

Pasta with clams and squid, made by my mother-in-law

Tomato tagliatelle with porcini mushroom sauce and prawns
 

Rolled omelette with crabsticks and parsley (I'm actually not really sure what was in it but it was good ^^)

Tomatoes with prosciutto and scamorzza cheese

Warm puff pastry goodness filled with pastry cream

Another thing I was fascinated about while there was the fact that it was relatively easy to find wild fruit growing on the side of the road. I went for a bike trip with my boyfriend, Elise and my parents-in-law and we picked some almonds, pears and blackberries. We also had easy access to the vines of wine producers and olive trees, but we didn't take grapes or olives, because it wasn't right to do so. It was also the first time I got to taste freshly picked almonds. I'm not really an almond fan, but they were ok.

 
With the blackberries I got to make a delicious blackberry cheesecake and I will be posting the recipe soon, so don't worry :)


I also learned how to make panzerotto, a small version of the calzone, which can be served fried or baked in the oven, just like pizza. Fried panzerotto is my favourite and that's what we made. It's normally filled with just fresh mozarella and tomato sauce but I like to add tuna to mine. My boyfriend's parents own a pizza place (lucky me :) ) so one of the nights his dad took some time at home to teach us how to make them. I want to try to make them now back home. They will not taste the same for sure, but at least I can try.

 
Overall, this was a great holiday, and even though we spent most of our time just relaxing at home, we still had fun. This will certainly be an holiday to repeat in the future. I'm sure Elise will learn how to love her italian roots and make them part of her everyday life.

 
Bonus: Minnie (one of my parents-in-law's cats) impersonating Batman, during our holiday :)



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