after our time in the balkans, things got tricky.
we had zero plans … and weeks to fill up (a very good
problem to have in europe! :) we had originally considered
continuing south all the way to greece, but with the less than stellar
train system through these countries and the hours we had already
spent on buses, we couldn’t quite stomach it. we researched and found
that if we made our way back to dubrovnik, we could take an overnight
ferry across to bari, italy – a little known port town on the adriatic sea.
we decided it was our best bet, and we were craving pizza and
pasta and gelato, hello! who can ever say no to italy? so we booked
very last minute with jadrolinja lines. we learned that since this is a
more budget-friendly way to connect croatia to italy, there are all
different options for tickets. there are nice full cabin rooms, small tiny
cabin sleepers below deck, chairs you can book, or just the basic ticket that
allows you on the ship, but you have no seat or bed – it’s just a crazy free for
all where people spread out on the floor in sleeping bags and have one big camping /
snoring party! haha! we wanted to spend the least amount possible going last minute,
but chase decided on booking a simple cabin below deck – it was very simple and
not the nicest, but i was so glad he had chosen to get a room once we saw all of the
italians on the main deck spread out drinking, snoring, and having a good time.. haha
it was entertaining, but would have been a long night! we got plenty of sleep in our
tiny room and loved waking up back in italy. always great to travel while sleeping!
we watched the sunrise on the boat as we pulled into italy,
and we gave ourselves a day in this port city of bari since
we needed some time to relax and plan our next leg through
italy (we decided on naples and the sorrento coast, so that’s
coming next!) we knew nothing about bari, so we were excited.
bari is basically a big college town and also a big port town.
most will only pass through here based on necessity or travel,
and we wouldn’t recommend coming across the world to see it.
but – when we found ourselves in a random eastern italian town
for a day or two, we couldn’t help but find the charm it had to offer.
see? ^^ charm right off the bat.
…and more charm! in the form of pistachio chocolate gelato.
the city is a little bit gritty and busy, but walk a little bit and
there are some quieter places to soak in the fresh coastal air.
our hotel villa romanazzi carducci was just a short
walk from the train station away from downtown, and
it provided a quiet and gorgeous setting to relax in the sun,
enjoy, and get to planning our next few weeks through italy.
^^ lovely grounds & pool that we definitely put to use
the breakfast was amazing! i don’t want to admit
how many waffles and pancakes i ate here :)
we mostly hung around the hotel to research and book the next
leg of our trip, but we did walk around the town itself in the evening.
it had big wide avenues, people in the streets, and some amazing street food.
…not to mention this classic italian shop…that cheese!!!
though bari will likely serve best as a pit stop crossing the adriatic, there are
some amazing day trips from here like neighboring lecce, puglia and
the castellanna caves among many others. it’s a unique region of italy!