It was an almost perfect Puglia Summer day. It was hoot, the sun was shining but very windy. Yesterday morning we woke up to a very blustery day and high tides on the beach. With guests settled in both our Puglia villas we found ourselves with time on our hands. Time to do a little exploring. Call it research for our guest information book and website. Really though we just wanted to have some fun and relax.
Porto Selvaggio Nature Reserve
We set out to find the Porto Selvaggio Nature Reserve, 11,000 hectares of woodland and 7km of coastline boasting many old towers, bays, grottos and cliffs from which the daring dive into the inviting blue Ionian sea.
The area is quite different from the Adriatic side where our Puglia villas are located. Under 50 kilometres distance and less than 50 minutes driving time from both our villas the Ionian coast is an easy destination for a day trip.
We found the parking and the entrance to the park but it was close to lunchtime so we decided not to explore the Park today. Instead we wound our way down to the coastal road and into the seaside town of Santa Caterina. A perfect place to visit during summer in Puglia.
Santa Caterina, perfect Puglia Summer day trip
We had lunch in a small trattoria overlooking a square. The buildings have an air of Greece. Everything is very white and very clean. Young boys, teenagers and one older man where happily playing football in the square below the terrace where we were sitting. A nice simple lunch, pepata di cozze (mussels) for me and pesce spada grigliata (grilled swordfish) for Bob, accompanied by a very nice glass of house white.
Lunch was followed by a stroll along the sea front. There is a tiny sandy beach right in the town and many rocky places where the sun-worshipers were stretched out. On the rocks there is a very nice cafe/bar overlooking the Ionian sea.
The pictures will give you a better view of Santa Caterina than my words. Click here to see the images from our visit to Santa Caterina. Just another perfect Puglia Summer day!
Next week we plan to head out earlier and spend the morning in the Porto Selvaggio Nature reserve, followed by a quick stop at the bar overlooking the sea. Then a little further south for lunch in one of the many restaurants overlooking the sea. Another perfect Puglia summer day to celebrate our wedding anniversary.