Monday, September 25, 2017

Everyday differences in Puglia: Prickly Pears

Puglia Differences: an occasional series on things that strike this Brit as so very Italian.

Wandering round the market I saw a hardware stall selling, amongst the easily identifiable tools, these devices.

Closer inspection was no help and my Italian is not up to enquiring their purpose.

A friend enlightened me. The centre piece is to take a pole and the cups are for harvesting Fico D'India - prickly pears.

I have tried them out of interest but would not bother to repeat the experiment. Pretty dry and flavourless and full of pips. A bit like a pomegranate with all the juice and flavour taken out. And spikes!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Aperitivo Classico 2017

Bar Fod, Cisternino, Italy.

One of the highlights of summer in Cisternino is Aperitivo Classico, a series of Sunday lunchtime concerts at Bar Fod. A drink, a taster of local food and an hour of music from talented young musicians.

A crowd of us book a table there every week and have done so for the last four years.

Sunday 02-July-2017

Solo pianoforte; fresh figs with ham.

Sunday 09-July-2017

Piano and violin; baked mussel and potato.

Sunday 16-July-2017

An excellent saxophone quartet; ham, fig, cheesy ice cream and an interesting fritter.

Sunday 30-July-2017

Harp; seafood from a guest restaurant, Pesce just across the square.

Sunday 06-August-2017

No Aperitivo Classico as it was the festival of San Quirico, the patron Saint of Cisternino.

Sunday 13-August-2017

We missed this one as we were at the wedding of my nephew Tom and Leoni.

Sunday 20-August-2017

Introductions from the artistic director, the bar manager and his son.

A small singer with a large voice; a selection of salami and cheese

Sunday 27-August-2017

I love that this includes Zizzi the photographer who is at most of these events snapping away.

The trio in all permutations of duos...

...and the full trio

Fritters and aubergine.

A few words from two of the brothers.

The last concert is always followed by a team photo of staff and customers. I'm the one in the Panama.

Plus a photo of the owners and staff.

Sunday 03-September-2017

An bonus concert for the first Sunday in September. Piano, singer; courgette tartlet.

After the last concert we had an excellent light lunch at Osteria Bell'Italia.

Another series series successfully and enjoyably concluded.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The Other Place 08 - Unpacking

Cisternino, Puglia, Italy. Sunday 03-September-2017.

We actually moved into the new apartment at the beginning of May 2017 having driven down from the UK with a car stuffed to the gunwales and arrived on May 4th. We are now living here for the summer having passed several milestones like first supper on the terrace and first dinner party.

The first two weeks were bonkers hectic rather like moving house while the builders are still working there. In fact that that is exactly what it was!

We arrived to find the heating engineer still working on the boiler and only one working bathroom so we could at least have a shower in the morning. There was still the other bathroom, the air-conditioning and the heating to be completed but we were not in such a rush for that. With one functional bathroom we could at least stay in the apartment and so spent our first night here, albeit surrounded by packing boxes.

We took advantage of the scaffolding to move several larger items in via the small terrace using the builder's winch including a fridge-freeze, a glass-topped table, and an Ikea sofa. Nail biting stuff to watch.

Up on the roof the mandatory water tank is now boxed in. The water supply can sometimes be turned off at night especially during the summer months hence this requirement. We boxed ours for aesthetic reasons although last winter a number of people had their tanks burst by the exceptionally low temperatures so there is a practical reason as well.

The railings for the roof terrace stairs and parapet wall were installed. There is a requirement for a minimum of one metre high railings round a roof top which we were more than happy to comply with - it's a long way down!

We had the plumbing and wiring for air-conditioning put in should we want it in the future and decided we wanted it now so went ahead while the works were still in progress. Given the heat wave this summer we are glad we did.

Now it is all finished this is the end result:

Kitchen-Dining Room (1)

Kitchen-Dining Room (2)

Living Room (1)

Living Room (2)

Bedroom (main)

Bedroom (guest)


San Cataldo opposite

I have to say it is all very lovely and we are now right at home.