After a relaxing 2 days in Lecce I caught a local train to Bari where I met up with my next couch host Nunzio who took me to a couch surfing 'function' that was happening that night in a local bar. The party mostly consisted of hosts from around the area, a couple of fellow surfers and a few random guests that had no idea what couch surfing was. I met heaps of like minded people and had a great night chatting and exchanging stories and experiences. The organiser, Simone, also organises another meet up they have in June in Calabria, where last year they had around 80 members come together for one big party on the beach over 3 days including rafting, hang gliding and lots of other activities. The couch surfing world is bigger than you think and is rapidly expanding!
Despite meeting in Bari, my couch was actually situated about 40minutes south west of Bari in a small town called Matera. If you have seen “The Passion of the Christ” you will have seen Matera. They used the old town and the mountain in front of the town as the set of Jerusalem in the movie. It is a really incredible town perched on the side of a mountain overlooking a valley and the river bellow. The 'old city' is comprised of small cave like houses excavated from the stone where up until the 50s, when they were forced to move out by the government, were still inhabited by locals like Nunzios family! The small caves were often home to as many as 2 adults and 6-8 children as well as the family horse, sheep, chickens and any other animals they had at the time! Impossible to imagine!