When the most important sights and cities of Italy have been explored, the traveller is eager for more. Fortunately there is more to be found and when you arrive to new and an even more beautiful small town than the previous one, you wonder why it is not listed among the top sights of Italy. Eastern Italy belongs to these surprises and when we had the opportunity to combine the region with our trip to Albania, it was easy to start planning a convenient route. We flew to the capital of Albania, Tirana, and from there we took the bus to port town Durres, from where there are daily overnight ferry crossings to Italian Bari.
Using Bari as a base camp for our explorations we did day trips to for example stunning Matera. Bari is a lesser known tourist gem with white-glowing old city, solid town walls and a stunning marina. From Bari we took the 4-hour-train north towards Rimini and we saw the blue Adriatic Sea and white-painted small coastal towns. Surprisingly, Russian seems to be a more common language on the Rimini beaches than Italian. From Rimini it is easy to grab the bus to mini-state San Marino, which is beautifully situated on a hilltop. Our return flight was from Bologna, whose medieval towers remained unexplored this time.
The Italians are experts on polishing problems with beautiful clothes, arts and buildings as well as treating us with good foods. Actually the visitor forgets about practical problems such as for example problematic air-conditioning in hotel rooms or delays in train traffic, as other senses are pampered. This time we did not taste any new flavours, but the classical Italian dishes treated us well also this time.