And the last Italy post, I promise. 
The livestock traffic jams around our villa in Puglia were a regular occurrence. Clayton Theodore was fascinated with this sport.
Another interesting sport was the unannounced, and uncontrolled burning of fields by our neighbors. This one was just across the road one night; the owner of our villa didn’t understand why we were a little concerned. 
In the daylight, and when not ablaze, Puglia’s landscape is a harmonic balance of cactus, olive trees, grapevines, and limes. Fragrant and gorgeous.
There were scattered “abandoned” villas about the area, as well. Our owner explained that many families moved into the city (a relative term) for the services, but maintained the land for farming. These villas had a special charm all their own.

The morning spent in Gallipoli was the perfect amount of time to see the sights and enjoy a quick lunch before heading back home to the pool.

I note this fish market in Gallipoli not only for the freshness of its wares, but for the freshness of the fishmongers, too. 😉

Seaside churches soar above the water.
Part of enjoying the little Puglia villages is wandering off the main streets. It was not my intention to peer into private homes, yet I was fascinated by the recurring theme of homes with the kitchen/living room that opened to the street. In almost every open house a television was running, too.
Just as cute as the little MA48er trucks here in Vienna.
Photo courtesy of the Internet
There are several cities in Puglia that work hard to maintain their Greek heritage. Classes are taught in the Greek language as well as in Italian, and the city signs are often in both languages, as well. The little village of Sternatia was near our villa, and we drove through en route home one day. Not much by way of Greek signs, but the village was a pretty detour nonetheless.

The lowlight of our holiday was the entire day Tony and I spent at the Volvo dealer in Lecce, managing emergency service on my car. Enough said about a holiday in southern Italy spent in an auto dealer waiting room. At least we’d left the children behind at the villa with food (and the pool.)
A day spent at Lido San Cataldo was refreshing.  A few meters off the shore lies the ruins of an ancient port city that one can walk through (in search of octopus, like the children, if the spirit moves you).

Breaking up the long drive home from Umbria, we spent two nights in a farmhouse in the Veneto, about 20 minutes from Venice, and gave Jack a brief look at some of our favorite Venetian sights.

Always good to see a major European monument (still) covered in scaffolding.

Gondola traffic jam.

Laundry day along the Grand Canal.

Cuttlefish at the Rialto Fish Market.

Looking up while in Venice is important.

The island of Murano did not inspire us; in fact, even the shopkeepers seemed forlorn. We moved along to Burano after about 20 minutes for a much cheerier island experience.

Jack agreed with us that Burano was a charmer.

If there was any recurring theme on this holiday of 15 days and more than 3.500 kilometers, it was that we were never identified as Americans.  German? Yes. Dutch? Yes. British? Yes. French? A couple of times. Probably the most interesting anecdote of the holiday, along with the few souvenirs, hundreds of photos, and innumerable memories.
Ciao, Italia!