Friday, 9 November 2018

Friday Skywatch in Puglia

On our last evening in Puglia we went to eat at an old masseria, the sister hotel of the Borgo where we were staying. It was cold and, arriving in the dark, with the building dramatically lit, it felt as though I had stepped onto a film set.
A clear night and a moon for Friday Skywatch.
In the restaurant there was a fire to welcome us
with our table beside it.

Lovely objects about us,
ceramics showing local costumes

delicious food
with space only for a lemon sorbet to finish the meal.


The next place to visit was Alberobello, a town with over one thousand round, conically roofed trulli buildings. It is now a World Heritage Site and firmly on the tourist trail.
So I did what all good tourists do and wandered about the town taking lots of pictures.

Pumpkins in place for halloween.

On the way back to our hotel we stopped off at their beach club. But the weather during our stay had been disappointing (people were wading knee deep in Venice) and the Adriatic wasn't tempting us in for a swim.

Another time, perhaps!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Antica Masseria Brancati and Ostuni

On our way to look around the 'White City' of Ostuni we called in at Masseria Brancati, an estate that has been producing biological extra virgin olive oil for a great many years. The old building was beautiful, the entrance way reminded me of Mexican dwellings that I've seen in the movies!

First we went into the surrounding fields to admire the olive trees,
some of them over two thousand years old.
Several families used to live within the compound. (An old Fiat car from the '30's or '40's was stored under one of the arches.) 
A small church served the needs of all the occupants of the masseria.
We were able to poke about the outbuildings and learn about the earlier methods of processing the oil.
Then it was time for a blind tasting of three different oils and a lesson in how to read the labels when buying olive oil. The secret, apparently, is to look for the information that the olive oil has been produced and bottled on site. If in doubt you can get it shipped from Brancati - it tastes delicious!

After driving though the flat valley of d'Itria we were suddenly climbing steeply uphill to the white city of Ostuni,  built on the rocky outcrop as a means of protection against invaders. The column in the central square, built in 1771. Atop it stands Sant'Oronzo. It used to be even higher but after falling down and being rebuilt the column lost a few layers!
Beautiful creamy stone and fine decoration on the public buildings.

This beautiful structure, Porta San Demetrio, is one of Ostuni's medieval gates.

The narrow streets are altogether more humble, but very charming.

After wandering the maze of little streets we headed down to walk the city walls. We were greeted by an up draught of cooling air as we stepped out to overlook the valley. It must be a blessing in the heat of the summer.


We spotted this abandoned palazzo beneath the city walls. I hope someone will rescue it.
It was a lovely place to stroll.