April 29, 2018
We really should have taken a photo of Brian beside one of the nuns, especially the last one this morning; she was not even at chest level. None of the others were much taller. We made an easy exit from Matera.
Perhaps because it was Sunday and a holiday weekend, there were many cyclists and groups of motorcyclists on the road. Initially there was even a cycling margin. I would have wanted an electric bike for the uphills. Many of the motorcyclists drove the middle line, passing vehicles on curves and hills and narrowly missing buses, cars and trucks.
Brian is disappointed that he has only seen one Ferrari and no Lamborghinis. Upon
reflection he decided that no one drives expensive cars here because they would get scraped and dented.
There were huge yellow limestone quarries in the countryside near Matera. Then as the land became gently rolling to flat, there were large fields of various grains. I believe Puglia is known as the bread basket of Italy, known for its flour, bread and pasta. As we came closer to Alberobello (Beautiful Tree), the fields became orchards and vineyards.
And the trullis appeared: round stone houses with thin stone tiles forming conical rooftops. We drove into the centre of Alberobello. From photos I had seen I was expecting a small town, but it is a large city. Trullis grow together between churches and surrounded by four storey apartment buildings. Plenty of tourists strolled the narrow streets. The first challenge was finding a parking spots. Drivers park in both directions regardless of the side of the street and some park diagonally in a parallel parking spot. Organized chaos.
After the cathedral and a stroll, we had a cappuccino and shared a chocolate croissant then left the city behind. The country side has plenty of trullis, some abandoned, some turned into useful dwellings, some remade into gorgeous dwellings, all more interesting than what we saw in Alberobello.
It was a short seven or eight kilometres to our Trullo Panorama in the country near Locorotondo. However when we arrived at the address given by Booking, there was no sign that said Trullo Panorama and no one around. It did not seem to match photos on the Internet. There was a large rectangular swimming pool but not a kidney shaped one. We drove down to the neighbouring farm. I asked about the address and he sent us farther to the corner then right then left. We saw many trullis in passing but only the first one had the corrrct address. We phoned the Booking number and after an Italian/English conversation the manager said he would meet us there in ten minutes. Half an hour later he showed up. The trullo is truly beautiful. There is a room for you, Eliane, and others too, but we only paid for the large bedroom and bathroom with tub! We have access to kitchen, dining room, living room and outdoor space. We must be the first renters of the season as the ma Ger had to get someone to come and add a propane tank and turn it on. Sadly the pool will not be ready for use until June. Very disappointed!
We think from the names at the gate that a pair of Englishmen own this place but it is managed by a local. He gave us tickets to go to a bar/cafe in town for our breakfasts. The internet is supposed to work but does not. He told us he has the phone company working on that.
We visited Locorotondo and liked the smaller town much more than Alberobello. We asked locals for directions to a supermarket and the best beach. The man and his mother were delightful and he happily showed us his cell phone cover: a Canadian flag.
We now have supplies for lunches and suppers and are reading on the patio. The only sounds are birds and bees. Ahhh!
We had a good meal last night in a restaurant filled with locals. Brian had the menu turistico: spaghetti with sausage, scallopini, French fries and water. Actually I drank his water and he drank beer and wine. I had a very thin slice of beefsteak with grilled eggplant and zucchini. All good with friendly service. We were amazed at how much food other customers put away. I could not eat a whole pizza by myself but many, even young kids, ordered that and ate other dishes as well. From who we have seen, Italians are not overweight. It must be the stairs. Margaret, Brian thinks he is ready to challenge you on stairs.
We attended mass before supper in the “plain” rock church of St. John the Baptist and witnessed the baptism of baby Alessandro Leon. We were not invited to the festivities that surely followed.