Alberobello and Ostuni


Alberobello and Ostuni

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Leaving Fasano, I knew that Alberobello was not far away and that Ostuni was on the way to my next night’s stay. So I headed for Alberobello. One would think that such a tourist attraction as Alberobello would have signs all along the highway. But no, hardly a hint of where it might be. Added to this was the fact that the UBS port for the car had ceased to work and I was low on gas. After getting lost a couple of times I returned to Fasano and filled the car with gas, checked the map carefully and headed to Alberobello. Alberobello is famous for a veritable city of trulli, those curous stone houses build only of stones stacked one upon another. I wanted to see it. I found during the drive (only got lost once and not badly) that there were, in fact, trulli all over the place. Still, I pressed on. As luck would have it, just as I entered the town I saw a small computer store and with even more luck there was also a parking space right in front. I went in and told them that “questo pezzo di merde e’ gia rotto” (this piece of shit is already broken). They had a replacement and let me try it to make sure it wasn’t something in the car. Not only that but  it cost half what I had paid before and worked for the rest of the trip. So I saw the trulli. A bit of a tourist trap one might say. Also as far as I’m concerned if you’ve seen one trullo you’ve seen them all.

Next stop: Ostuni. It bills itself as “la citta’ bianca”. The white city. I’m not sure why since it certainly was not all white. Naturally it has a centro storico that was interesting (and hilly) which was whiter than the rest of the town. By chance I stopped a little bar that was near the centro. It was carved out of the rock and the barrista told me that it had been a frantoio (olive oil processing room) for the house. He was quite friendly and recommended places to eat – always very important.

After leaving Ostuni I pressed on to the B and B that I had found via AirBnB: “Finestre fra gli Ulivi”. It was probably the best place other than Servas hosts that I’d stayed to date. It was a little way outside of Mesagne. As usual not that easy to find but worth the effort. Marcella, the proprietor, was very welcoming. The room was very nice and the setting was magnificent. Surrounded by old olive trees and with a covered terrace (there’s an italian word for it but I’ve forgotten what it was) for breakfast. When I arrived I was welcomed with a coffee. She had a couple of sons that were home temporarily and a nephew (10) who was definitely not shy and liked to talk. Marcella recommended a nice restaurant in  Mesagne and, as usual, I ate well. She warned me to only order one thing at a time because I might not be able to finish it. So I started with the antipasto. This seems to be common in the south. There’s not really a selection. So the antipasto came, first 3 dishes, then more, and then more again. Thirteen items in total. Incredible. I wasn’t really hungry after that but wanted to try at least a pasta so I ordered a small order, probably half, and then happily waddled out and headed back to Marcella’s place. I really didn’t see much of Mesagne other than the centro storico where the restaurant was located. That part was very attractive, as the centri storici generally are. The breakfast part of the BnB was quite something. Marcella had all kinds of stuff including some kind of bread (frisa) that’s kind of like a bagel that has been sliced in half and baked again. At that point it’s practically inedible but she showed me how to do it. You soak it briefly in a little water. Then she cut cherry tomatoes in half and squeezed them over the bread and placed he tomatoes on it. She added a little salt, a little dried oregano and some olive oil and, my, was it tasty.

When I go back to Puglia I’d really like to go stay there for maybe a week. Highly recommended.

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