I am so sorry for the delay between these posts, I promise that the next instalment (which I am working on as I type) will be much quicker than the gaps that I have left so far, I will write it up and put it on a timed post especially!
The journey to Barletta was one of the longest journeys of the trip – taking approximately 7 hours as we had to change at Bologna station. However, what it lacked in speed it more than made up for in scenery, passing through the seaside towns of Rimini, Pesaro, Termoli and Foggia to name a few.
Once we arrived we hopped in a taxi to the Best Western where we were staying and praised the heavens above for air conditioning. The hotel was a little way out of town but, walking distance from the beach, had a pool and an amazing array of food available. We sat down to dinner we were greeted by a plethora of antipasti stacked high on a table. From melt in your mouth mozzarella to sweet peppers and cured meats. Walking smugly back to our table with plates stacked with as much as they could carry (probably intended for delicate plate fulls rather than mountains).
P went with a beef strips on a parmesan and rocket salad – one of the most memorable taste sensations we would have experienced to that point (later exceeded in Venice 2012). Seeing as we were beside the seaside I went for squid, expecting something equally spectacular to P’s meal, however slightly disappointed. There was nothing wrong with it, though there was nothing extraordinary.
As the night was still young, but we didn’t feel like venturing too far we made our way to the hotel bar, grabbed a drink, and sat outside in the warm summer air. As we played some card games we soon had a little visitor, he was quite charismatic, charming and handsome… sorry did I forget to mention he was a ginger Tom cat. We named him Achilles as he had a club foot, but this did not hold him back one bit. He was dealing the cards like a pro – or maybe he was just scrambling them, who knows, but he joined in the fun and did make quite the jester of himself. Once our glasses were empty and our throats soar from laughing we bid our new friend a good night.
The following day was spent relaxing by the crystal waters of Barletta. A really stunning beach and almost deserted as it was low season (Mid September), so plenty of beach chairs to choose from and no charges, win-win! After a dip, chasing schools of fish and oogling at seaweed and jelly fish that had washed ashore, We shimmied back into some clothes and walked along the seashore in search of food. We found a shack, with a few lights on a little shop in the front and were scuttled along by it’s owner through a curtain into a back room of a huge dance floor with tables and chairs shambolically scattered around the edges. The owners family were enjoying themselves with wine and children playing at one end to which they quickly jumped up on our entrance, but we ushered them to stay as they were. I thought about offering P a dance, but if you know him, you would know I would have been show down faster than a bullet.
Looking much like a scene after a wedding, but being too hungry to question it we sat down and took a menu. Our Italian wasn’t great and their English wasn’t much better so after lots of pointing and signing we nodded and off he trotted into another room. Not long after he had left he came back with two steaming bowls of hand rolled pasta in a delicious tomato sauce. Once our bellies were full and our feet rested we hopped up and thanked them for a fantastic meal. It seemed we may have been their only customers for a little while, as I did mention it was low season, but it was well worth the visit. If you ever find yourself in the area why not give Ristorante Ginevra a visit? (to be honest I was quite amazed they had a website too!)
We strolled back over dusty roads through a half empty town to the hotel and got ready for dinner, we couldn’t miss out on the awe-inspiring mozzarella now could we?!
Unfortunately we only spent one full day in Barletta, but at that time I think it may have been a good thing. However I can imagine in peak season this would be an amazing beach holiday destination and have heard it’s quite the hit with the Italians themselves!