– After being in Taranto, Sava and Martina Franca, I moved to LOCOROTONDO where I had booked two nights at the Leonardo Trulli Resort. Let me tell you: it was not a cheap place, but I was not looking for a cheap one. For heaven’s sake, I’m still the one who claims to live by writing, in Italy, in 2016, first year in VAT, I mean, I’m not rich. But those were special days to me and I really wanted to spend them in a magic location.
So it was. I loved everything about the place. The quality of the accommodation, the care for details, the rich and delicious breakfast with products grown and prepared on site (including bread, made with wheat harvested in the little field away from the pool). And the same Trullo I slept in was simply charming. I enjoyed the peace. The lush vegetation. The relax. The fresh air. Really, I loved everything about this place. I’d definitely recommend (below you can find a horrible, though bucolic, image of me pasturing for the country, naked, eating an organic plum; just lo let you understand the mood).
Being based in Locorotondo, I decided to visit Cisternino and Ostuni, where I went years ago and that I remembered as the most beautiful place I knew in Puglia (of which I tragically still ignore Salento and Gargano, I’ll recover).
I went to Cisternino with the express purpose of eating the typical roast meat (bombette and salsiccia). I didn’t had dinner at the well-known Zio Pietro, since there was a daunting row that came abundantly out of the entrance. You see: queues really bother me. They disturb me enough to not make me deliberately set foot in Expo, in Milan. You can figure how easily I decided to betray Zio Pietro.
In the end, I went to Osteria Porta Grande, following the advice of my friend Braciola, who claims this is the only place in Cisternino where you can have boar meat. The place was full, tables all filled (apparently, to eat Bombette in Cisternino you need to book as the beautician, with days notice) and it was like a miracle to find a place because waiters literally set up an abusive table fur us, outside. The waiters themselves are certainly part of the experience.
Bombette were good, but those that I eat at my relatives’ in Martina Franca are better, to my personal taste.
After dinner, I went to drink in a bar, which of course I don’t remember the name, but you can easily find it (Cisternino is not Manhattan), which overlooked the entire Itria Valley. If you happen to be here, go for it. Because no matter what you drink, it tastes better in front of the moon lighting up the sky on this beautiful land.
The next day, I had a nice morning in the pool at Leonardo Trulli Resort (no screaming children, no teen-agers playing volleyball in water, that if you get caught you have a fatal head injury; no gross music coming from everywhere; no awful animation organizing aquagym in the sea at 3 pm), in the only sounds of nature. Then I had a mild light lunch of chicken salad (but I could also have ordered a “frisella” with tomatoes, or Capocollo and Caciocavallo sandwich). And, in the afternoon, I went to OSTUNI.
I got there late in the afternoon and I wandered up before sunset, through the crowd, tourists, souvenir shops, restaurants.
I had already called 3 places for dinner. All full. I tried to request live. Nothing. Apparently in Ostuni as well, in August, if you want to eat, you have to book as for a Rolling Stones concert.
I wanted to have dinner at La Taverna della Gelosia, that I felt like a super-cool place, on a terrace, also there, looking out over the valley. Or at the Osteria del Tempo Perso, which I’d heard about. NO WAY. Eventually, I remembered Riccardo Café (if you click, you must know that when opening the page, a music starts…), which was a place I already knew. I liked it 10 years ago. And I still like it.
It’s a delightful location, on the steps between the houses, colored by the sunset lights. Very good cocktails. Good food. I don’t remember nuisance to music, which means music was ok. Let me tell you: Riccardo Café was full as well. We asked and we had table and seats set up for us. So if you happen to pass here, don’t hesitate to ask, even if you see no seats available. As though in Puglia they create seats out of nothing. It must be part of the magic of the place.
Before leaving, of course, did not miss a walk by night in the center, between the natives, and the tourists, and the usual street performers. I must say: Ostuni was as beautiful as I remembered it.
(to be continued)