A good trip to open up for the season with several highlights. The first was the weather which exceeded the forecast pretty much every day. We were able to drag the mattresses out into the courtyard for their spring toasting to drive off the winter damp.
We are switching from umbrellas to a shade sail on the advice of our local agent. Parasols generally do not last as long and fall over in the wind. A quality shade sail lasts longer, provides higher UV protection and covers a larger area. We avoided the Ikea sails and went for a high quality Australian make called Kookaburra.
My top priority on this visit was to drill holes and install eyebolts to take the fittings; two are static (with tension adjusters) and the third has a pulley for raising and lowering. All went remarkably smoothly and we now have cover for lunch in the courtyard. We will retain at least one parasol for the courtyard round the back but I expect the sail to be the main protection from the sun.
Back in Cisternino old town the alleys are too narrow for vehicles of any size and especially for a dustcart (aka garbage truck). Instead of weekly rubbish collection you leave a plastic carrier bag out every night for daily collection. These little vehicles navigate the cobbled streets every day collecting the bags from people's doorsteps.
In our apartment the large white wall has been crying out for a painting. Last year we looked at paintings by local artist Patrizia Pareo who, coincidentally, has her studio directly across from our apartment. We didn't feel able to afford the one we wanted then but this time we upped the budget and bought "Bianco nello spazio".
It must be one of Patrizia favourites as she used it on the cover of her catalogue. And now it's our favourite too. It looks splendid on our wall and is the perfect finishing touch to the apartment.
It was a quite the cultural visit. we went to book at table at Osteria la Valle. At eight o'clock they hadn't event started laying the tables so we went to Bar TrentaDue for a drink for an hour. There was a band setting up and doing a sound check. So after our meal we went back to listen to the band. The bar was heaving with trendy cool dudes. The first set finished at midnight. I was deemed an old fogey for wanting to go home to bed so we stayed for the second set and staggered home some time after one am.
We had hired a large estate car so we could go shopping to patio furniture for the terrace. After visits to Ikea, Conforama, and "our man in the country" we ended up back at Conforama and bought a table and L-shaped sofa.
It only just fitted in the boot with a bit of shoving and is now up on the roof ready for some serious relaxing next trip.
|Trullo Azzurro: beautifully restored trullo in delightful, secluded valley near Locorotondo, Puglia, Italy. Available to rent on a per week basis, sleeps 8-10. For more information visit http://www.homeaway.co.uk/trulloazzurro|