Thursday, June 02, 2011

Puglia May 2011

Two weekend trips to Trullo Azzurro (TA) in one month; this time our guests were Grant and Helen. It is amazing how much good stuff you can pack into a weekend.

The flight was Alitalia Heathrow to Brindisi, change at Rome. The second leg was delayed so we got in a 00:45 in the morning and fell into bed.

Since we were last out at the beginning of the month TA has been whitewashed and the olive trees pruned so the place is looking all spruced up ready for the season.

This was kindly organised by our friends Chris and John so the next morning we went round to their place early for a quick hello and to drop off a "thank you" gift. Normally we take bacon for John so this time we took Welsh spring lamb for Chris - 1.3 kg of organic, boned leg joint. The lamb went hand luggage and I was not surprised when security at Heathrow pulled over my bag for inspection. Fortunately the man was satisfied that it was the Sunday roast rather than some curious explosive device.

Then we met up with Pietro to settle our local tax bill which he had arranged to be paid. Back at TA we pottered about until the call from Grant and Helen to guide them in the last couple of km in time for lunch and relaxing. That evening it was aperitif at Bar Fod in Cisternino followed by supper at the always excellent Osteria Sant'Anna.

As luck would have it the city of Lecce were having Cortili Aperti [PDF] - Open Courtyard - where various palazzi (palaces) not normally open to the public literally opened their doors so you could look round. Many of them had live music performances as well.

Puglia May 2011 - Lecce Courtyard
Lecce Courtyard

We dropped the car off at Fasano station and took the train into Lecce which made it more of an adventure. Most of the houses had plenty of twiddly baroque carving and delightful courtyard gardens.

Puglia May 2011 - Lecce Garden
Lecce Garden

Puglia May 2011 - Lecce Street
Lecce Street

Three hours of top notch gawking and home on the train. On the way back from Fasano station we dropped in on neighbours Carole and Mino who insisted we sample their own wine that they had bottled the day before. Both white and red were very tasty and I love that you can see the very vines right next to you.

Puglia May 2011 - Mino's wine
Mino's wine

The evening was similar to the night before: Bar Fod then Osteria Bell'Italia for another typical Puglian meal. Food excellent and the house wine an amazingly quaffable EUR 6 a litre.

It was the Feast of Maria Ausiliatrice in Cisternino so we took a post-prandial meander down Via Roma to admire the illuminations and soak up the atmosphere.

Puglia May 2011 - Cisternino illuminations
Cisternino illuminations

The usual last minute headless chicken routine as we tidied up and moved things around. Retrieving the truckle bed from underneath our bed and putting it in the little sitting room involved a major Tower of Hanoi style shuffling of bicycles and bedside cabinets.

Then down to La Rotonda da Rosa for a seafood lunch and a reluctant departure to Brindisi for the flight home.

Puglia May 2011 - La Rotonda da Rosa
La Rotonda da Rosa

But never mind we are back out at the end of June for another, slightly longer weekend :-)

Trullo Azzurro logoTrullo Azzurro: beautifully restored trullo in delightful, secluded valley near Locorotondo, Puglia, Italy. Available to rent on a per week basis, sleeps 4-6. For more information visit

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