After four nights in our trullo just outside Alberobello, we headed to Lecce to explore the southern half of Puglia.
On our way we stopped at Cisternino, another small Italian town. The most interesting thing about Cisternino was a small group of Italian men who we found in a park playing some kind of game. We watched for several minutes trying to discover the rules and objectives of this game without success. They were tossing 5 cent euro coins and then one man retrieved them with a metallic stick that magnetically collected all the coins. It was interesting to watch this group's daily routine.
|view from Cisternino|
|Still not quite sure about this game!|
|Bet you can find these guys in the same spot every day!|
We also made a stop in Ostuni. It was a bit of a larger town, but yet much was still closed at odd hours. We wandered around a bit, popped in a church, tried to find a great view of the detailed dome on one building, and ate a marginal lunch.
Then we were off to Lecce. We found our apartment and got settled. Finally it was time to head into the Old Town of Lecce and wander about. One of my favorite things about Lecce was the wine bars that lined one of the streets off the main square. They were cute, modern and full of local wines.
The next day we headed out to Otranto, a seaside town further south still on the east side of the heel of Italy. After our time there, we crossed to Gallipoli on the west side of the heel. To be completely honest, these towns are all blending together at this point! Otranto has the cathedral with the beautiful mosaic floor and we watched a wedding in progress. We had a nice lunch before getting back in the car! Gallipoli was windy and gray during our time there. I've heard it's really nice during the summer time.
|Part of the mosaic from inside the church|
|Italian wedding...complete with video hovercraft?|
One of the last things we did in Puglia was a winery visit to Castello Monaci. We arranged this visit through a form on their site. We met up with Marco, who gave us a private tour of the winery and all its tanks, barrels, vineyards. Then we sampled six of the red wines they make on site. I discovered a love of the Puglian negroamaro wine, especially the ones that are blends of the negroamaro grape and another local grape, like the Malvasia.
|the castle of Castello Monaci|
|Some of the vineyards...complete with dirt road on the far right that I drove down. Nice.|