Taking advantage of a warm mid summer weekend, we took off for the heart of Puglia, particularly Alberobello, Monopoli and Polignano a Mare.
Located about 60 km south of Bari, Alberobello is the home of the famous ‘Trullo’. Splendid cone-shaped constructions that have been used as homes since ancient times.
My personal advice is to lose oneself along the tiny alleys of the city’s downtown and be captivated and charmed by the Sovereign Trullo, the small church of Sant’Antonio from Padua, the House of Love.
Most of the Trulli have currently become lodgings, Relais, museums, wineries and restaurants, souvenir shops and local craftsmanship.
In addition, the colorful terra-cotta whistles are quite noteworthy, as cute as they are bothersome to the eardrums if used with out letup, especially by kids (I admit to having gleefully rejoiced at Jacopo’s inability to blow the whistles!)
20 km north of Alberobello, right on the coast, springs the town of Monopoli.
This town was a very pleasant surprise for me.
The downtown is full of articulate little alleys, arches and alleyways. A jewel of popular architecture mixed with stately buildings and gorgeous religious sites where the Cathedral dedicated to the Mary from Madia stands out among the white houses.
In my opinion the best to start your tour of Monopoli is from the harbor, suggestive at all hours of the day. You can admire the ‘gozzo’ boats which are typical local red and blue colored wooden boats. You will also find one of Italy’s largest squares, Vittorio Emanuele Square, dating back to the Eighth Century.
In conclusion the city center also offers many eating options, from the most rustic (sandwiches, bruschetta bread and frisa bread), to the most refined dishes of the excellent tradition of Puglia.
Polignano a mare
Final stage of our weekend was Polignano a Mare. City perched on the brink of a cliff over 20 high which seems suspended in that “blu dipinto di blu” sang by its most famous citizen Domenico Modugno.
Another characteristic is the Byzantine and Arabic traces a succession of alleys, typical white houses and balconies hanging over the sea. Each and every balcony treats you to breathtaking sights which are entwined with the atmosphere and scents of the Mediterranean.
The walk through the streets of the historical center was pleasantly interrupted by a pit stop at “la casa del mojito” (the house of the mojito), small but typical and characteristic Italian place that offers its clientele a stunning mojito in one of many devious varieties.
At dusk we head back home on the SS16, the scenery enchanting, the perfect closing for our weekend with the colors, history and natural beauty of my beloved region.