….another leg of my Italian journey.
After visiting Matera, we arrived in Puglia in the Itria valley, which is located in the centre of the region. The closest city and airport is Bari.
The area is known for ‘Trulli’, traditional dry stone huts with conical roofs. They were originally built as temporary field shelters and storehouses or as permanent dwellings by small landowners or farmers. The most famous are in Alberobello, now a UNESCO site. However these typical houses are everywhere throughout the valley, some have been restored and it is possible to rent them. Trulli are surrounded by centuries-old olive groves and together they create the picture of a spectacular and unique landscape!
We visited Puglia with Edi and Barbara – we met them last year during our holidays in Botswana. Together we explored all the beautiful villages of the Itria Valley: Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Cisternino and Ceglie Messapica. Each village is different, but in all of them it seems that time has stood still.
We tried a lot of typical traditional food and I was particularly impressed by ‘orecchiette al sugo ‘, which is orecchiette (little ear) pasta with tomato sauce. I wanted to eat the most typical ‘orecchiette con cime di rapa’ (turnip tops) but unfortunately you can’t find fresh cime di rapa during the summer. I also liked ‘fave e cicoria’ (broad beans and chicory), simple and delicious!
Puglia has a very good reputation for cheese, both fresh and smoked, for ‘pizza pugliese’ (with tomato and onion) and for figs. We tried a bit of everything (as you can see from the pictures!), and often we overindulged. It was all too good to resist!
The region has several amazing wines: Negramaro, Primitivo and Salice Salentino are the most popular ones. I tried a few of them and liked very much the Sasumaniello Verso Sud and Negramaro Teresa Manara.
….my Italian tour will continue next post with the last leg of my journey back to Abruzzo.
Puglia has an amazing variety of food, from meat to fish, from vegetable to pasta, it is really difficult to choose among so many delicacies. I particularly love to make two recipes Agnese has mentioned in her post: ‘fave e cicoria’ and ‘orecchiette alle cime di rapa’, follow these links and try to make them yourself….
“St’ uìne passa ra ìnd’ a l’uort’, prima t’accìre e ppò si muort’”
Wine passes through the field, first it kills you with work and then with joy. Proverbio pugliese.