It just so happened that there was a festival on in Otranto on our last night there. Summer is in the air and everyone was out late into the night listening to traditional music from the Salento region of Italy. The kids were the early entertainment highlight with them congo dancing and waltzing around the main square before the sound check was even finished.
The backdrop was amazing with the old town of Otranto surrounded by thick walls complete with gargoyles and amazing medieval architecture all around. By 11pm the kids were completely exhausted but the night was only just picking up so the dads generously offered to take kids home while the mums (Heather, Sarah and Yoannia) let their hair down, joining the locals in their festivities until the wee hours.
The hangovers were not too bad and probably non-existent for the Italians. It was a very different drinking culture to the UK or Australia, where a festival like this would have descended into drunken bedlam by 11pm but here multi generational families were peacefully socialising and dancing almost all night.
The next day we headed up the coast towards Brindisi, where we were greeted by another party atmosphere with an outdoor market and live music right on the town quay. We had hoped to make the crossing to Montenegro from here, but the wind still had too much north in it so we decided to head a bit further up the coast to get a better angle and a better sail, with the wind less on the nose. So, next stop was Monopoly, where we arrived just in time to watch the Italy-Germany game, on a huge screen in the middle of the old plaza. The atmosphere was fantastic….until the end, when the poor old Italians were a bit flat 😦
Our brief week in Italy has been fantastic fun, with super walled cities, lively atmospheres and great people. Lots of fun – Italy we will be back soon!!