Extend your summer in Southern Italy

 
 Enjoy empty beaches in and around Pizzo on the Costa degli dei

Enjoy empty beaches in and around Pizzo on the Costa degli dei

 

Buongiorno,

We hope you had a wonderful and joyful summer. How about extending your summer in Southern Italy? Enjoy the dolce vita in one of our beautifully restored apartments in Pizzo Calabro (Vibo Valentia), just 25 min drive from the international airport of Lamezia Terme (SUF).

We offer up to 20% discount on our standard rates during some October weeks.

When do you like to travel?

Studio Bellavista (sleeps 2-3) Oct 1 - 17 (NEW!) and Oct 24 - Oct 29  for 75 € /night*
Palazzo Pizzo Residence (sleeps 2) October 5 - November 3  for 95 € /night*
Dependance delle Grazie (sleeps 2-6) October 4 - November 3  for 125 € /night*
 

* Booking terms: above rates are for 2 persons per apartment, extra guests are 15 Euro/person/night, plus cleaning fee 30 Euro for Residence and Studio and 50 Euro for Dependance per stay; no tourist tax from October to May; free wifi, free secured parking; 50% down payment to secure booking; free cancellation; minimum stay 4 nights. Please send your inquiry to Susan@PalazzoPizzo.com, thank you!

 
 Learn Kitesurfing in Gizzeria (30 km from Pizzo)

Learn Kitesurfing in Gizzeria (30 km from Pizzo)

 

Travel tips: 

Learn kitesurfing in Gizzeria, just 30 km from Pizzo, at Hang Loose Beach where the latest kitesurfing world championship in July 2018 took place. Here you can find instructors (English and Italian speaking) or just rent your gear. (photo above)

Combine your stay in Pizzo with a visit to the famous 'sassi' of Matera (photo below) in Basilicata, the UNESCO world heritage site since 1993 and the next European Capital of Culture in 2019 ! Matera is only 300 km (3h20 drive) from Pizzo and 65 km (1h drive) from the Bari airport in Puglia. Matera worth to stay two nights See my latest blog post about a trip to Matera.

 
 Matera (300 km from Pizzo)

Matera (300 km from Pizzo)

 

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Grazie mille & saluti cordiali
Susan

Road Trip Pizzo - Matera in Basilicata

 Matera (Basilicata, Italy)

Matera (Basilicata, Italy)

Visiting Matera was always on my mind since I first heard of Matera and the ‘sassi’, the stones, which are cave dwellings in rocks. Until the late 50ies, peasants families lived in these caves with many children and their animals to keep warm, without electricity, fighting malaria and other diseases when the Italian prime minister (back then De Gasperi) declared it the “disgrace of Italy” and forced the inhabitants of the sassi to relocate into a new town, built especially for this evacuation into modernism. But they wouldn’t be Materani if they would not be strong characters. The young generation is proud of their heritage and creative enough to invent and build a future for their city and youth.

Matera, once capital of Basilicata (or Lucania, until 1806) became an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, mainly because of the rediscovered underground water cisterns system. And in 2019, Matera will be the next European Capital of Culture! The Materani are ready to welcome visitors from around the world. They have renovated many caves and abandoned houses and rent rooms to visitors, sell handicrafts in caves, or revive Lucanian cuisine in cave restaurants.

This summer it was time to go. It is 300 km from Pizzo, and just a 3 h and 20 minutes drive. I was bitten by the travel bug for several reasons but that would be an entire separate post. So one Monday morning I sat in the car with my young companion, our son of 15 years. With a map of Southern Italy on his lap (yes, a real map!) where I had marked with a yellow marker our 4 day round trip (Pizzo Calabro, Matera, Polignano, Monopoli, Ostuni, Lecce, Otranto, Lido Pizzo and Gallipoli and back to Pizzo Calabro. Later we added Alberobello, but this is another story/post).

I was so totally in the adventure mood. But since we live in modern times, I thought better to book us some airbnbs (2 nights Matera and 2 nights Lecce). Our airbnb host in Matera was informed about our arrival around 1pm. My son’s favorite songs were playing over and over out of a speaker. The sun was shining and the car was running smoothly on the autostrada A3 which was just recently renamed to A2, autostrada del mediterraneo. With my marked Italy map I thought to be well prepared. And Angelo had said, “at Tarsia you head east on the superstrada”. Well, first little mistake. Instead of leaving A2 at Tarsia North, we left the autostrada at Tarsia (one exit too early) which led us on tiny little streets through picturesque villages and landscapes over the mountain. When we finally reached a larger road we made a pit stop at a deserted petrol station. Just two trucks and a bar, which reminded me of a road movie on Route 66 in a similar wild region. Actually, everything around us made me think of California. I kept talking to my son about California. Look, these yellow hills with that single green tree and that awesome blue sky. So California!

After a long drive we finally hit the Calabrian East Coast and drove North to Basilicata. It really was nice driving. You are not allowed to drive over 90 km/h most of the time and you are warned about 10 times before any speed control, most of them are signaling that they are inactive anyway, so you I felt very relaxed (far from the stress on a German Autobahn).

Finally we reached Metaponto, built by ancient Greeks, and turned left towards Matera. Our airbnb host had called me just now and I told her where we are and that we will probably reach her in around 45 minutes. Well, I did not foresee that we will get lost in Matera. We found the street with the free parking zone that she had recommended (thanks to Waze, my navigation app that we used for details in addition to the paper map). Regarding the very dark clouds and strong winds, and the predicted soon coming downpour, we left the car quickly and I run in the wrong direction - uphill - since I had that picture of Matera on a hill in my head … I wondered why my 12 minutes walking distance became suddenly 19 minutes. So I started asking locals. Well, the new town is higher than the old town and you have to walk downhill. When we reached Piazza Veneto the downpour hit us. We aquisted some colourful umbrellas and tried to make it to the Piazza del Duomo. We arrived totally soaked, and found our airbnb host’s son still waiting for us and leading us to the apartment. Wow! This apartment worth the two days I had spent to study all the available flats on airbnb. You must imagine that almost every third cave and every fourth abandoned house is now a lovely B&B. It is an incredible choice and very difficult to make a decision. They look all very stylish!

I am happy to share my accommodation tip. I deem it a fantastic choice, because of its location right in between the two ‘sassi’, the two stony hills, “Sasso Barisano” (direction towards Bari) and “Sasso Caveoso” (the oldest area), next to the Duomo on the top of it all with great views of ‘sasso Barisano’, easy to find (once you know), near the free parking zones. There is no need to sleep in a cave to have the cave experience. You can visit several cave houses with authentic interiors. You can visit a modern sculpture museums (MUSMA) stretched over several caves, and you can dine in cave restaurants. Actually, when I looked closely at photos of bedrooms in caves I got already claustrophobic by imagining the narrow space. And traveling with a teenager it was a good idea to have some space to relax in between exploring and at night.

Our host was awesome. I always would pick an airbnb superhost, but Maria Angela was a megahost. She also gave good tips for what to see and where to eat. Actually, you do not need to be prepared for Matera. Just stroll up and down the alleys, get lost and explore. It is all about getting the feeling of how life was back then.

 View from our Airbnb “Al Duomo Relais” in Matera

View from our Airbnb “Al Duomo Relais” in Matera

 Matera: a pigeon’s home, soon to become a luxury cave for crazy tourists

Matera: a pigeon’s home, soon to become a luxury cave for crazy tourists

 Exploring abandoned caves and scenery in Matera

Exploring abandoned caves and scenery in Matera

Of course when in a hurry, you can just stop by to see Matera from across the canyon, from the site of the Murgia Timone. In the morning sun Matera will glow pinkish, and in the evenings you watch the skyline against the sun at sunset which is quite popular when first lights are on in the little windows and alleys. But to get the real feeling, I recommend to stay 2 days and 2 nights. Of course you can stay longer! This place is full of magic and has so much history to show and tell. Just stroll around and discover, it is like travelling back to our roots of mankind.

Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world dating back to the Palaeolithic period. On the other side of the little canyon in the “Parco della Murgia Materana” you can visit simple Neolithic caves where people lived up to 9000 years ago. Matera is exciting and fun for every visitor, from child to archaeologist.

 biggest man made water cistern in Matera

biggest man made water cistern in Matera

 Matera has so much to discover

Matera has so much to discover

 How about a day hiking in Matera!?

How about a day hiking in Matera!?

 view from Murgia Timone, late Afternoon

view from Murgia Timone, late Afternoon

 A day in Matera ends

A day in Matera ends

 Dining in a cave

Dining in a cave

 View of Matera out of a cave, where people lived over 1000 years ago!

View of Matera out of a cave, where people lived over 1000 years ago!

 Matera twilight

Matera twilight

 Matera at night

Matera at night

 Matera gave me an instant urge to draw …. the view from “Al Duomo Relais”

Matera gave me an instant urge to draw …. the view from “Al Duomo Relais”

Matera is not “been there done that”. Looking at my photos, I remember the good grounded feelings the empty caves and the sparse rocky landscape gave me. Although mainly abandoned, I could feel the live of 1000 years. If you have lost your creativity or lost your inner center, go to Matera, stay at least two nights, and the stones will work their magic on you. One day I will be back.

See a brief video about Matera by the UNESCO here

The Guardian: “The miracle of Matera: from city of poverty and squalor to hip hub for cave-dwellers” (17.06.2017)

Accommodation: Al Duomo Relais, Recinto Annunziata Vecchia, 3 in 75100 Matera, phone +39 328 4261649 or +39 320 5740151, email: recintoannunziatavecchia@gmail.com (host and owner: Maria Angela P.)

Restaurant: L’Abbondanza Lucana, Via Bruno Buozzi, 11, 75100 Matera, phone: +39 0835 334574

Happy discovering!

25 May, 2018 it's GDPR Day

Isn't it amazing how many newsletters we have received these days? Some apparently were just sent out to be sent out before May 25 because after May 25 it would have been illegal as it would be breaking the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that comes into effect in Europe today on May 25, 2018 and could end up with very high fines...  

I was surprised myself how many companies still have my email address and name stored! And how dilettantish most of the mails were. In some cases I had to actively send them an email to ask to unsubscribe from a newsletter or to delete my data. From what I have researched in the net, and thanks to Mailchimp's support (my newsletter service provider), it is the other way round. Someone has to actively opt in to receive your newsletter, even though they have subscribed themselves earlier. If someone does not reply to your new request, although she or he has subscribed to your newsletter before, you should not continue sending her or him anything by law from tomorrow onwards. Maintaining silence is not accepted as consent.  

That's why I sent to all my 'subscribers' - yes, I admit, in the past I have added each inquirers' and guests' email address I could get to my mailing list (with and without explicit consent) - an "We would love to stay in touch with you" email yesterday, which said: 

We would love to stay in touch with you! And we hope you like that too.  Don’t let us get separated by the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that comes into effect May 25, 2018 in Europe. To help us comply with GDPR consent requirements, we need your confirmation that you like to continue receiving content - newsletters with special offers and travel info for Calabria, Italy - from us
— from our almost illegal newsletter
 Don't let us get separated by a new privacy regulation

Don't let us get separated by a new privacy regulation

Yes, it is true: I hope that you like to stay in touch with us! And that "If YES, we need your explicit OK!"

There was a super big green button for those opting in. - But I am fair and added also a big red button to opt out and say CIAO!

Our door is always open for you and when you change your mind and want to sign up again to receive emails from us, you will find a link. See below at the very buttom or on the right blog roll, or just click here :-) 

Also, we even now have a privacy policy on our website! Here you can read what kind of data we are collecting from you (or rather not) and what we are doing with them (or rather not). And this, I did today. I am quite proud of myself how Palazzo Pizzo now complies with GDPR totally (I hope) and on time!

I have to thank all the handymen and workers in my house who made it impossible to leave the house the last two days... haha, without them I wouldn't have made it and still hyperact dilettantishly today on May 25, 2018.

And if there are any complaints (or suggestions) regarding GDPR or your processed private data please contact me or comment below. And if you do not like your comment in the future, let us know, we are happy to delete it as I have deleted manually all unsubscribed email addresses from the unsubscriber list on Mailchimp.

Especially, I would like to thank all the very friendly subscribers who took their time to re-subscribe again! We are looking forward writing to you again soon!

Many thanks! Vielen Dank! Mille Grazie! We love to stay in touch !

Pizzo Vacation Rental Summer 2018

 Coffe on the roof top terrace, Dependance delle Grazie (photo credit: lovely guest Steve B., April 2018)

Coffe on the roof top terrace, Dependance delle Grazie (photo credit: lovely guest Steve B., April 2018)

Did you enjoy your weekend? Summer feelings are all over Europe! Where do you plan to go this summer? 

Come to the sea! Come to the Costa degli Dei (the coast of gods) in Calabria, Southern Italy! Come to Pizzo! Pizzo is the best place to explore this beautiful coast and the hinterland of Calabria, and its spicy food and Ciro wines.

We at Palazzo Pizzo have the following apartments still available now until the end of summer 2018 (updated May 20, 2018): 

Palazzo Pizzo Residence (sleeps 2) for 110 Euro per night :

May 23 - May 31,  July 3 - July 10,  and September 12 - September 21

Dependence Delle Grazie (sleeps 2-4) for 140 Euro per night * :

June 10 - June 29,  August 4 - August 12,  August 20 - August 27,  and September 7 - September 30

*) rates are for 2 persons per apartment, additional guest pay 20 Euro per person. Our self-catered apartments come with free wifi and free secured parking. Minimum stay is 7 nights (or as indicated).

Please contact us directly if you are interested.

You can also find us on airbnb, homeaway (fewo, abritel) and tripadvisor (holidayletting). There you can check our availability also for autumn 2018 and read our 5 star guests' reviews. We are proud superhost on airbnb.

We are looking forward to welcome you in Pizzo!

Warm regards, saluti cordiali

Susan & Palazzo Pizzo Team

(photo source: great shot by lovely guest Steve B., April 2018)

Read also my posts about direct flights to Lamezia and what to do in Pizzo.

 

Pizzo Apartment availability around Easter 2018

 It's getting warmer ... and you are dreaming of a cool place to go? 

It's getting warmer ... and you are dreaming of a cool place to go? 

Easter is around the corner! And spring is here since March 1 according to the meteorologists, and latest next week on March 21 according to the astronomical calendar. Have you made up your mind yet where to spent your Easter Holidays? Or your own personal little Spring Break?! Come to the sun, come to Southern Italy, come to Calabria, come to Pizzo! Pizzo is the best place to explore Calabria and its spicy food and Ciro wines.

Palazzo Pizzo has the following apartments available during these periods: 

from March 21 to May 4    Palazzo Pizzo Residence (sleeps 2) for 110 Euro per night

from March 31 to April 11   Dependence Delle Grazie (sleeps 4) for 140 Euro per night*

from April 7 to May 5        Studio Bellavista (sleeps 3) for 80 Euro per night*

*) rates are for 2 persons per apartment, each additional person pays 20 Euro. Our self-catered apartments come with free wifi and free secured parking. Minimum stay is 7 nights!

Please contact us directly if you are interested.

You can also find us on airbnb, homeaway (fewo, abritel) and tripadvisor (holidayletting) where you can check also our availability for other holiday periods.

We are looking forward to welcome you in Pizzo,

warm regards, saluti cordiali

Susan & Palazzo Pizzo Team

(photo source: Dolce Gabbana campaign 2011)

Want to read more? Maybe about staying in Pizzo in April including Easter procedures, or all posts about spring in Calabria, direct flights to Lamezia or what to do in Pizzo.