At precisely 1:20 pm the regional train – near-empty and spanking clean – pulled out of Lecce train station and made its way through scrub countryside to the coastal town of Polignano a Mare. Perched dramatically on a clifftop overlooking the Adriatic Sea, this dazzling città will instantly seduce you.
If I had only one word to describe this utterly charming town, it would have to be clean. Clean and sparkling white. It was a joy to walk through the maze of narrow lanes in the old town, past the small shops and private homes. At one point I even removed my sandals just to feel the smooth, velvety stone under my feet. The wind that blows in from the sea is also clean – constant, cleansing and calming. Lecce and Polignano a Mare are, in my opinion, two feel-good, regenerating places.
Below is the view from my hotel. As I peered over the ledge, I was horrified to see groups of teenagers clustered on the rocks below, some diving into the water. It looked awfully dangerous and I thought to myself – How can their parents let them do this? They probably did the same when they were young!
The hotel has this lovely rooftop terrace where breakfast is served. I recommend this family-run establishment for its location, its super comfortable beds and its fresh, clean décor.I meandered into the old town and came across this beautiful old church (look at that gorgeous stonework). It’s called the Purgatory Church.
I pushed open the door and, as is my wont, walked around its cool, dim interior. It was only when my eyes became accustomed to the dark did I realize I was not alone. In the nave of the small church was a casket – an open one – and I saw an elderly man lying inside, his hands folded across his chest. I froze. There was no-one else in the church, just him and me. A shiver passed through my body and I suddenly felt cold. And then the heavy door creaked open and a group of women came in, swathed in black. I muttered “Scusi”, and slid discreetly past them. Stepping out of the church, I stood blinking in the strong sunlight. I felt sad. Sad for their loss…and for loss in general.
MORE TO COME….
Hotel – Malù Bed & Breakfast