Bienvenidos a Lecce

I didn’t expect to see prickly pear cactus in Italy.

Would you have?

It was a complete surprise to see large, abundant cactus growing amidst olive and fig trees. The closer we got to Lecce, the more Italy began to remind me of Mexico City. (At least, what I imagine Mexico City to be like, since I’ve only ever been to Tijuana and Ensenada.)

There were even jacaranda trees clinging desperately to their spring blooms.

My aunt and I woke up and enjoyed some coffee on our little interior patio before I wandered off in search of a cafe advertising “frutissimi” I’d seen the night before.

The rest of the group arrived and soon we went in search of the famous Santa Croce during the day on our way to lunch.

Churches everywhere, because not only is this Italy, but Southern Italy.

My cousin, aunt, and I spent an evening walking through the historic (and tourist) center while David slept and my mother worked on her computer. We ended the day with gelato, Nicole’s treat.

The swallows are like bats come evening time. They are an exuberant chirping swarm.

When we got back, David and I made dinner for everyone out of whatever pickings we found at the corner market – not fancy, but a nice change to cook “at home.” (Plus I don’t normally eat out so much when I travel normally…!)

Pretty Good considering it came from the equivalent to 7-11…! 😂
Bonus Video: My mom and aunt reliving Ye Olden Days of Songe while they do the dishes…taken with my cousin’s phone.

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