The Wonders in the Heel of Italy's Boot - United Hub

The wonders in the heel of Italy's boot

By The Hub team

By San Francisco based United Club Customer Service Representative, Elena Moises Paunan

In search of a short, five-day winter adventure, I recently landed in Milan with three friends by way of Newark, United's daily nonstop service. Milan is centrally located with easy access to Switzerland, other neighboring European countries and unique southern parts of Italy. Besides a day in Milan and a day trip to Lugano, Switzerland, we set our eyes on a quick trip highlighted by a couple of unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Puglia, located in the heel of Italy's boot.

Puglia exhibits the rustic tranquility of the Italian countryside. Despite its cultural richness and architecture, Puglia is still one of the least-explored regions of Italy, offering a coastline bathed by two crystal blue seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Beyond Puglia's popular hotspots, there are nature reserves, dramatic caves and medieval quarters, not to mention the region's star attraction: fantastic food. From Milan we then went to Bari, a main port for Mediterranean cruises. We didn't have time to explore this town, but from there we took an hour-and-a-half train ride to Alberobello.

Alberobello, a small town located where Italy's heel meets its sole

Alberobello, a small town located where Italy's heel meets its sole, is famous for its absurdly charming, jaw-dropping, white-washed, cone-topped houses. These 16th century trulli, as they're called, have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We checked out the darling hobbit-like settlements in Rione Monti, Aia Piccola and Trullo Sovrano. Trulli were designed to befuddle tax authorities by appearing as temporary field shelters. Not only is Alberobello a quaint little town, it is also a delight to the palate. We had lunch at La Cantina, a small restaurant with an open kitchen where you see cooks prepare your food using fresh local produce. It was "trulli" a delight. Exploring the uniquely set up trulli in different neighborhoods gave us an amazing and relaxing experience. Tracing Rione Monti, we ended up in Chiesa di Trulli, a cute little trullo church. As we explored different areas we also shopped for unique, locally produced souvenirs and tasted great wine. At the end of the day we visited Trullo Sovrano, a rich family's dwelling in the 16th century, the only two-level trullo.

Matera, Italy

On our last day, we booked the latest flight out and opted to hire a local travel guide to drive us for the day so we could see another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matera. Situated in the neighboring region of Basilicata, Matera is one of Italy's most impressive and visually stunning places. Its world famous Sassi of Matera cave dwellings, carved into the sides of cliffs, stand aloft and make an extraordinary landscape. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, Matera is said to be one of the oldest towns in the world. It's claimed to be the third-oldest town after Aleppo and Jericho. With its unique qualities reminiscent of biblical times, it is easy to see why the location appealed to Mel Gibson and was featured in his film "The Passion of the Christ." Many of the caves have been transformed into restaurants, hotels and shops but still retain their cave-like appearance. It is also the film location of the new movie "Ben-Hur." If this is not enough to acquaint you with Matera, wait until it grows in popularity as it prepares to be the site for the 2019 European Capital of Culture. It was an adventure of a lifetime to see these two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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