Last year when I was in Italy I met fellow blogger and author-Victoria De Maio of PostcardZfromVictoria. Her vibrant and friendly personality coupled with her passion for Italy, immediately got us talking about everything from Italy to India to yoga and books. Needless to say we struck a friendship for a lifetime. After more chit chatting, I learnt that Victoria takes group tours to Puglia twice a year (from this year also to Liguria). When she mentioned Puglia I thought to myself, “Puglia? Where might that place be?”
Believe me, being an Italophilie myself, I had little or no idea about Puglia.
I came back to India and thoroughly read Victoria’s blog and saw through her eyes the glorious region of Puglia which forms the southern eastern part of Italy.
Puglia enticed me completely with its white washed towns, stunning coastline, olive trees and trulli houses. The more I read about it, the more I wanted to be there. But I wasn’t really sure when I could go and if I could go at all. So I kept the plan aside and let the universe conspire it 🙂
And then it happened.
I traveled to Puglia in April this year 🙂 It was one of my most precious trips to Italy and also my very first to the South. It is like a whole other country in down there. For starters, Puglia had me with its very friendly people, unmatchable delicious food, baroque towns and winding streets.
My love affair started with the baroque town of Lecce.
Oh the baroque!
In Lecce, I was to stay at Palazzo Rollo‘s Fanfulla rooms but when I reached via train from Rome, groggy and tired, I found Fanfulla rooms closed owing to lunch time. (Mostly in the south from 2pm-4pm a lot of places shut down for lunch)
I called Palazzo Rollo and the owner-Elena, a very cool and kind lady with whom I had earlier corresponded, told me that they had upgraded my stay from Fanfulla rooms to Palazzo Rollo. I was ecstatic! 😀
A 17th century palace, which is now converted to a B&B, the Palazzo is where Elena grew up with her family. I was impressed with its simplistic yet traditional furniture. My very traditional room on the second floor had a lobby with a drawing room and a private kitchen. Elena and her staff were very helpful and gave me insider tips while chatting about my love for Italy. I immediately struck a friendship with Elena and Simona– one of the staff members. It was also the start to a wonderful Southern Italian journey- so warm, beautiful and clear hearted. I felt blessed to be among such friendly people.
Elena and Simona.
While in Lecce, I made the most of my stay in Palazzo Rollo. Located right in the middle of the town, I could come and go as many times as I wanted as I was just 5 minutes away from all the main attractions. During the day when it was too hot, I would come back to take a nap. The mornings at the Palazzo were pampering with fresh breakfast of delicious Italian pastries, cold cuts, juices, coffee and fruits.
On one of the days I had a lovely evening on the terrace which had a fantastic view of the bell town of the town’s Duomo (cathedral). It made me feel as if I was trapped in time.
Campanile del Duomo di Lecce
I will not forget this special stay at Palazzo Rollo and thank Elena and her team for making my stay so special. I hope to be back soon again.
Grazie mille, amici ❤
Disclaimer: I was a guest at Palazzo Rollo but the opinions expressed here are solely my own.