Cala Ponte MarinaSummer 2016
St. Kats ⇾ Cala Ponte
Summertime in St. Katharine Docks is something to behold, with a programme of exciting events and diners spilling out onto the pavement as they eat al fresco.
While we can guarantee a brilliant experience here in the marina, what we can’t promise is wall-to-wall sunshine. Now is the time to plan a vacation to warmer climes for a guaranteed dose of vitamin D, and some of the best summer living can be found in Italy.
In an exciting like-for-like swap, Cala Ponte Marina in Southern Italy is a good short-term replacement for St. Katharine Docks. The marina is managed by Camper & Nicholsons, with 320 berths for boats of up to 25 metres. Cala Ponte is the perfect base from which to cruise the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, with Apulia’s 500 miles of coastline stretching out in either direction. Sailors with a couple of days to spare can also venture to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia and Greece’s northern Ionian Islands.
Cala Ponte Marina lies close to the clifftop town of Polignano a Mare – an ancient city of narrow alleyways, cobbled streets and traditional architecture. The attractions warrant dropping anchor for a long weekend – or even a week. As you would expect from Italy, the jewel in Polignano a Mare’s crown is a church – the Matrice in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Vecchio Polignano. Don’t miss its ‘balconies’ overlooking the sea, which grant panoramic views along the coast.
A visit to Polignano a Mare isn’t complete without a trip to the caves and grottos, some of which can be accessed by land as well as sea. Why not combine sightseeing and dinner with a meal in Palazzese Grotto? This beautiful restaurant is perched on the edge of a cliff 79 feet above sea level, with the waves lapping below and a staircase that leads down into the caves themselves.
The marina is surrounded by verdant countryside – much of it UNESCO protected or making the World Heritage of Humanity list. Drive alongside fields brimming with olive and cherry trees, marvel at the laden grapevines, spot the iconic ‘trulli’ houses and make a pit stop at the Castel Del Monte – an architecturally astounding castle and citadel. If you can squeeze in a visit to the ancient village of Ostuni, you won’t be disappointed. Its white painted houses provide a perfect foil for the dazzling blue sky.