Monday, May 9, 2011

A Ride Into An Architectural Fairyland - Ostuni to Alberobello

It started raining during the night and was still raining as we ate breakfast. When we set out there was a break but it looked temporary. As it turned out, we began to see gaps in the clouds and it never did rain on us throughout our ride. The countryside was pleasantly rolling. The hills were just enough to keep things interesting. It is mixed agricultural land, olive orchards, grains, and vegetable plots.

At first we were seeing more examples of the funny little houses we started seeing the day before.

By and by we saw our first trullo, farm houses built with unmortared conical stone roofs.

As we rode north the trulli became increasingly frequent, sometimes there were large compounds of them.

In the meantime, we stopped for lunch in Cisternino, and we had guess what? Pizza! It was tasty, but more importantly, we discovered a Italian beer that was actually good ( we previously had held a poor opinion of Italian beers).

When we got to Alberobello we splurged on an expensive hotel to be near the old town center. Once upon a time, during the 15th century, farm buildings were not taxed, and trulli were farm buildings. Therefore, the Count GianGirolamo Acquaviva D'aragona decreed that all the houses of Alberobello would be trulli so that he could avoid paying taxes to the king of Naples. We had great time wandering around the trulli of Alberobello.

Tomorrow we will tour the caves of Castellana and then ride to Monopoli, where we will meet Marco, a friend of our friend Julia. Marco promises us a walking tour of Monopoli, and the best gellato in the world!


Daniel said...

mmm, gelato. good memories of italy! enjoy!

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Daniel, well we had a great time with Marco and his parents last night... But so far no gelato, maybe today as we are spending another day here under Marco's guidance.

Diana said...

Do gnomes inhabit those little houses? How interesting. Well, you've inspired me again...this morning I made gnocchi while listening to Andrea Bocelli's "Sentimento". Next challenge: gelato. By the way, wave to the ghosts of my grandparents if you pass through Northern Italy and the lake district. Ciao!

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Diana, Sounds like Steve is getting as much ethnic food as we are. We didn't need to come all this way, we could of just gone to your house, ha, ha. The Trulli made us think of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and other inhabitants of Tolkins Middle Earth. We will pay homage to the ghosts of your grandparents, but we still have a way to go before we get there!

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Diana, it seems Steve is eating more ethnic food than we are! Ha , ha. Guess we didn't need to come al this way, we could of just gone to dinner at your house. We'll toast the ghosts of your grandparents, but we have a quite a ways to go before we get to the lake district.