If you've never been to Italy during the summer, or don't live here, or have never worked with Italians, you probably don't know about the month of August. Or, well, of course you know about August, and the fact that it's on the calendar and that it exists, but not about August in Italy. Long story short — it's insane.
Basically, August is vacation month in Italy and involves parades of the entire country heading to the beach or hiding up in the mountains AT THE SAME TIME. For reasons that are beyond me, the Italians pile into their cars on the very same day, to spend hours on the highway together, to go to the same crowded beaches and rub elbows with each other in their already small personal space. Businesses that aren't in touristy areas will up and close for weeks during August so their family can take a vacation, so forget visiting your favorite pizza joint or getting anything administrative (like getting your internet fixed – speaking from person experience) done during the month of August.
So, yeah, we don't love traveling during August, but we love September. The crowds are gone, the prices are lower, the weather is still summery and we still have Labor Day as Americans, so hello vacation, and hi, beach!
I've been wanting to go to return to Greece for a hot minute now, but the prices are always high and it's always peak tourist season and so we just don't. But then I remembered seeing pictures of the little trulli, or small stone huts, in the region of Puglia in Italy and I got interested in how much they might be to rent. Turns out, TRULLI CHEAP! And also, the Greeks once settled in Puglia, so it looked a lot like Greece — win, win! We scored our adorable little trullo for $50/night and our non-August vacation was decided — I just had to break it to my husband that it was going to involve an 8-hour car drive. May have lied about that one a little. Whoops!
Puglia was so unique. We really felt like we were in a whole new country down there, with the white-washed homes, the acres of giant olive trees and cacti, and the sandy white beaches (something not so common in Italy). There were tons of cute little downs, like Alberobello, Locorotondo, Ostuni and Polignano a Mare, and I don't even know if I can pick a favorite. We enjoyed some of the best and most unique cuisine Italy has to offer, swam in some of the nicest sandy beaches and trulli used a lot of puns about the trulli. Can't stop, won't stop, not sorry.