Each trip we try to work in a surprise day that we put together along the way, based on the group’s interest – and today was a home run! We left Matera in the late morning, and our travelers still had no idea where they were headed as we made our way out of town. The countryside vista on the ride alone may have been enough, but we turned down a country road and turned into the entrance of Agriturismo L’Orto. Unlike what we’ve visited so far, L’Orto specializes in organic vegetable farming and preserving. Owner Fulvio walked us through just a small part of his large property, and we then had a chance to sample some of their specialties such as the sun-dried tomatoes and their unique red eggplant, which was a group favorite. He then guided us even farther ‘off the beaten path’ to the facility where they dry the tomatoes on the property, which everyone found impressive.
We departed Fulvio’s and the guesses were coming fast and furious as to the remainder of our day. Cheers erupted from the vans as we pulled up to the seaside town of Metaponto and set up camp at a beach club there. The afternoon was filled with frolicking in surf, napping on lounge chairs, walks along the boardwalk, and drinks under the awning on this perfect afternoon. This was a definite win, and everyone came away quite happy with our surprise day!
Our last dinner in Matera had to of course be in a cave, and we headed to the best pizzeria in town to finish out our day. It was a great day for all and it will be hard to leave here tomorrow!