I slept until 10 a.m. this morning in my cozy dwelling here in Polignano a Mare, a coastal town in the heel of Italy overlooking the Adriatic Sea. I arrived yesterday from Lecce on the local train. I guess you could say that I’m slow travelling, to use the jargon of the day, though I never thought of it that way when I set out. My intention was to avoid plane travel if I could, because flying is such a stressful experience. I mean, having to weigh your suitcase at home, measure it and your carry-on with an actual tape measure, and then stand in line at the airport to be frisked, scanned and publicly scolded for deviant behavior (eg, packing a plastic bottle of suntan lotion in your carry-on) is not my idea of a good time.
Whereas train travel is. From Rome I took the train down to Lecce (5 hours). I have taken many photos, but cannot post them right now because I’m writing this on my tablet.
So what exactly is slow travel? I found one definition on the internet: a fully immersive experience and connecting with the locals. I guess that crossing a street in central Rome and nearly getting myself killed while the driver of the vehicle screamed “Vaffanculo!!!” out the window could qualify as connecting with the locals. Oh, and this was at a pedestrian crossing. I thought the French were bad. (I won’t translate that swear word, it’s too rude.)
Another fully immersive experience would be sitting in a pizzeria watching the European election results on the TV screen, and learning that the majority of Italians had just voted for Matteo Salvini’s far-right, anti-immigrant, nationalist party called LEGA (the League.) Meanwhile, in France the far-right, anti-immigrant party scraped a narrow win (led by Marine Le Pen).
Other than that, I have encountered lovely people along the way and, as usual when I’m in this country, am thoroughly enjoying myself. From here it’s onwards to Bologna (by train) for 48 hours then up to Milan to connect to another train to Nice while leaving myself lots of time between train connections. Another definition of slow travel is to not rush around like a crazy person.
All my bookings were made via Trainline.
Ciao for now …