Riding the Bus in Italy

Italy has a lot of quirks.  Well, I guess that everywhere does, but I just feel like Italy has a lot of funny little things that make you kind of tilt your head and think, “huh.”  For us, riding the bus is definitely one of those head-scratchers.

We had a very simple plan, take the bus from Monopli to Alberobello – there is one bus stop in each town, we got the official times from the tourist office in Monopoli; and now being able to speak Italian, I really felt like this should be a piece of cake.

the beautiful trulli of Alberobello

But it’s those moments, the moments when you feel like you’ve got everything figured out that everything sort of un-figures itself out.

By no means did we have any troubles making it from point a to point b, it was simply the in-between that gave us something to laugh about.

We boarded the bus with a few Italian tourists, and a good amount of locals.  The bus ride, with stops was supposed to take between 25-30 minutes.  Once we got moving, each local took their turn walking up to the bus driver as he was driving and whispered to him about something.  We weren’t completely sure what was going on, but very quickly we caught on.

I’m pretty sure that this room used to be an outhouse of sorts

As we neared Alberobello and started noticing the signs pointing in the direction of Alberobello, the bus kept turning in the opposite direction.  And then the stops started.  At farms, a gas station, homes and different work places.  And then it all became very clear to us, this wasn’t so much a public bus service as it was a means for the locals to get transportation to their workplaces or families.

Although it wasn’t quite as enjoyable to spend over twice the amount of time that we should have on the bus, we were also very touched by what has going on.  By the end of our return trip, we recognized a few of the passengers, and we also picked up on the fact that they all knew the bus driver.

our panini and vino lunch break in Alberobello

In this small community in the south of Italy, if you don’t have a car, there really aren’t any reliable forms of transportation, well, except for this sweet bus driver.  He knows exactly who to pick up on what street, and he is helping them all get to and from wherever they need to go.

A head-scratcher and something for us to laugh about?  For sure.  But it is not often that you see this generous sense of spirit, and it was heart-warming for us.  It is nice to see that there are still communities and people in the world that are working together towards the greater good just because that’s who they are.  So if you plan on riding the bus from Monopoli to Alberobello, plan a little extra time, but definitely enjoy the ride.

3 Replies to “Riding the Bus in Italy”

  1. That was such a sweet story, and brought back some great memories of us longingly looking out the window as we repeatedly went in the opposite direction of our destination and saying “Nnnnooooooo!”

  2. Great story … will always be a great memory too.

    1. Agreed James!

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