Puglia Trip #1, May 2013 – location, location, location

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I’ve just returned from my first trip to Puglia. But maybe you already gathered that from my title.

I was there a paltry week, really only five days if you minus two for travel. How is it that the actual flying time from Edinburgh to Bari is three hours, yet it took eleven to get back home? I guess time is the price you pay for saving a couple hundred euro with budget airlines.

You’ll no doubt soon realise for yourself, but let me be transparent from the start – I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m totally winging it. This blog may well turn out to be a guide on what not to do when buying property in Italy. But I think in life, learning from others’ mistakes is just as likely to lead to success as following in the footsteps of a champion. I mean, if there’s one thing Simon Cowell has taught us, it’s how not to have our hair cut.

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Or wear a white shirt…

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So rather than become overwhelmed, I’m managing my expectations in this whole project. Oh, pardon the office jargon, it seeps out of me unbeckoned sometimes, like a runny nose does the moment you’re horrifyingly sans tissue. Really, office jargon should be more honest, don’t you think? Forget managing expectations, they should re-label it “delaying the breakdown”.I’m telling myself it will take at least a year to find the perfect ‘beautiful Italian Villa’ of my dreams, or the perfect ‘it’s the best I’ll get for what I can afford and it will do’ of my reality. If at this time next year I have failed to progress very far, then I’ll give myself permission to fall apart.

Anyhoo, last year I decided on Puglia for the location of my Villa, and hopefully by now you know that when I say Villa, I really mean dinky little flat. I’ll explain why this decision was made in more detail when I post about Galatina, but for now all you need to know is that I thought it might be wise to actually go to Puglia. And since Puglia is not just a one horse town, but a good sized region with a whole slew of towns (where, if you’re up on the local cuisine you’ll know there’s definitely more than one horse around), the sole object of trip number one was to confirm my untested belief that I would love Puglia. For extra credit, I assigned myself the task of narrowing the Villa’s eventual location down to a slightly smaller chunk than Puglia’s 19,000 square kilometer area. But no pressure on that second thing.

So over the next couple of weeks I’ll write about the trip, where I went, what I liked, what I didn’t, the places I stayed in, the people I met and of course the food I ate. But I’ll let you know now, I passed trip one with flying colours. Puglia is indeed a beautiful, interesting, still largely undiscovered by most of the world’s tourists slice of Italy. I’m sure it will fill all my criteria, even as they will no doubt morph as I go along on this -oh christ, I almost wrote journey – odyssey. And I even got some extra credit by deciding that I will concentrate on north rather than south Puglia next time. That decision had more to do with my ever eroding bank balance than a well researched and tested decision process, but I have a feeling it’s the right one for me.

And when we’re dealing with dreams, feelings are as good a bet as facts, right? It’s like that giant of intellectual cogitation, Queen Latifah, says “instinct leads me to another flow”. And if the Queen says it, it must be.

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