28 August 2013 - Drive to Tricase - Brindisi and back to Gallipoli

Bootlegger of Mann
Frank Newton
Wed 28 Aug 2013 19:26

39:55.9N 18:23.8E

From Gallipoli to Tricase Porto

We hire a car for the day to a) go and look up old friends of J's in Tricase Porto, the Southeast part of Italy's heel and b) drop Karl off at Brindisi airport some 90 km to the north in the evening.

It proves a most pleasant drive across the heel through beautiful country side before arriving at Tricasa Porto just before lunch.

After parking up we take a walk down to the picturesque little harbour full of swimmers that houses mostly small fishing craft, although a Bavaria 48 lays stern to in front of the harbour office. After an aperitif at a harbour-side bar and visit to the Magna Grecia project, we drive up the hill to the restaurant and homes of J's old friends Cosimo, Betty and their sons and wives.

We are warmly greeted by Cosimo, Betty and the family and shown over their homes and restaurant "Bellavista" with their truly stunning coastal views.

Cosimo was proud to show us over the estate, being the restaurant building with its terraces, their home and that of their son Andrea and his wife Antonella. The gardens which Cosimo has personally laid in terrace fashion over an extensive area from which he grows vegetables for the restaurant among the wild growing capres and rocket.

We were all greatly impressed with all we saw and with the friendship and generosity we received during our stay, which included a magnificent lunch of seafood antipasto, orecchiette pasta cooked in the sughetto of monk fish followed by a gargantuan platter of grilled scampi and shrimps.
Cosimo serves the scampi and shrimps
Beatrice, Alfredo, Jackie, Cosimo and Betty

After 20 years there was a lot of reminiscing and catching up ever since Jackie had been shown how to choose the right capers from a bush and how to cook a real spaghetti vongole. I took this opportunity to have my siesta.

After saying our good byes we headed north to Brindisi where we dropped Karl off for his flight to London before heading back to Gallipoli.

During this time we experienced severe thunderstorms with fork lightning and torrential rain bouncing off the motorway. Which made the night driving in such conditions very difficult. However, this did not mar what was a truly enjoyable and memorable day.

Next stop: Greece.