Ostuni. The white city.

I don’t think I talked much about Ostuni when I was here last year. Partly because I didn’t spend enough time here. I’m glad to be putting that right.

Ive spent today wandering around the back alley ways and enjoying the calm. At this time of year there are few tourists so it’s yours for the taking.

Its a beautiful place

And you can even take your garden with you if you move……

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Io sono così felice di dire che sono tornato in puglia ( I am so happy to say I’m back in Puglia)

it’s been a long time and I’m sorry for the silence but it’s been busy and I’ve been plotting…. more of that another time.

Im so happy to be back in Puglia. I arrived in Ostuni yesterday to blue skies….  for two days I’m staying in luxury but then it’s a treat. Marking the end of my fiftieth year.

The views are stunning and I can breathe again…

It’s good to be here……

Thank you EasyJet

Thanks to EasyJet and their super advanced deals I followed my impulse and have booked to spend my last few days of my 50th year where it all began.

This love affair with Puglia is far from over and I  think I have been on a long journey personally too.  I’ve met great people who I hope will remain in my life and I’m learning the most beautiful (and frustrating) language.

So the blog is activated again and as I plan for the year’s end I will keep you posted.

Lecce- ti voglio bene! My last full day

I can’t believe it’s gone so fast. I wanted to make the most of today, so up and out for my morning coffee

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As I was sitting in the Piazza D’Oronzo and people watching, it struck me how old sits with new. Building wise that is. Immediately behind the beautiful seat of Lecce is a modern building built during starker times.

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And yet somehow they both have found their place. I guess that’s what I feel about this place.  Historic buildings aren’t tucked away, or developed beyond recognition, it just is as it is. All are occupied and used for whatever purpose they suit. It’s not so much a historic city but a living history.

Still some thing’s do belong in a museum for protection and I went around the archeological museum today. It was quiet and I was the only person there. They opened it up for me and let me roam at my leisure. Actually a real treat to do. Stopping for as long as I wished, asking questions of the curator because it was just me and her. My own private tour.

The building is also magnificent as you would expect. With a beautiful courtyard.

When I was finished I sat and had a caffe in ghiaccio con latte di Mandorla for the final time and for research purposes only purchased a pasticciotto. It’s a local delicacy – a pastry pie filled with egg custard.

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Had to be done. And I had to bite into it or how else could I show you the inside.

Off to dinner tonight with the lovely Gio. Perfect way to end this trip.

Ti voglio bene Lecce.

Lecce.. morning til night

I went off for a trip to the beautiful city of Ostuni today. This meant an early start.  I love wandering the old city of Lecce early in the morning. It’s so quiet, I feel that it’s all mine. And the morning light is something else..

I had a wonderful day in Ostuni with Jemma. We wandered around the antique market and then sat for a few hours progressing from coffee to a spritz to a soft drink. A meander through the back streets of Ostuni followed. Then I drove home.

Evening in Lecce has its own charms..

 

The exotic…

Why is it that sleeping under a mosquito net has an air of far away places and exotic climates. Here it’s a necessity.  The pesky little blighters are very persistent and seemingly take great pleasure in taking as big a bite as possible.

So whilst the initial sight of a mosquito net over a bed has cinematic, romantic overtures. Trust me, it’s the only way to keep the little menaces out!!!  Crema di zanzare anyone?

You just never know..

When I leave the apartment and walk into the main square I just never know what I’m going to find. Tonight within seconds of leaving the apartment, I could hear drums. I followed the sound and a big group of people were turning into the Piazza Duomo holding balloons.  It was some kind of procession but I’m not sure what. What was lovely was that it was all families. Once they were all in the Piazza, the drums started again, the boys waved flags and then hundreds of balloons were released into the night sky. My photos were mostly rubbish but here are a couple to capture the flavour.

 

It’s a beautiful night here in Lecce and the Piazza looked stunning all lit up

 

So it was definitely time for a gelato. Well not quite. I went for a yogurt   but with miele e noci.   Delicioso.

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Early start tomorrow up to Ostuni.

Dinner with friends old and new and so much meat…..(warning to all my veggie friends -this may offend!)

I’m not the biggest meat eater..once in a blue moon. So when Carmen, my fantastic Italian teacher and hopefully now also someone I can call a friend, invited me to dinner at La Locanda del Macellaio,  a steakhouse, I was happy to give it a go.  We were joined by two of her friends and work partners, Elaine and Enrico. It’s a great place.  You are greeted by a display of meat and you choose your dinner which is then cooked for you.

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Not a vegetable in sight so not for the non meat eaters at all. Apart from being really tasty, it was a fun night using a mix of English and Italian.   Elaine is a lovely northern lass who’s lived here for 6 years. Enrico a local, like Carmen. So it was a great chance for me to give it a go. After dinner we went for a drink to an outside bar that had a live band. More people to meet. More italiano spoken. It was a good night!

 

Thunderstorms and lightning….

..what a difference a day makes.  Woke up this morning to an amazing thunderstorm.  The rain cascaded down outside my window and the lightning was very dramatic.

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So I used it as an excuse for a lazy morning until the rain passed and then I went for a stroll. Just outside my apartment this greets me every day

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It looks like post the Birth of Venus, she came to stay and left the shell outside. You get the feeling the palazzo was built for someone’s great love. I hope so at least.

What to do on an overcast day in Lecce. Well this of course

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Whilst sitting there slowly sipping, I noticed lots of people going in and out of a palazzo directly opposite. I couldn’t see a name but after my drink and a bite to eat, I wandered in.  By now the sun was back out and it was beautiful inside.

 

I’m glad I did. I’m going to try and find out it’s name but for now it’s the Mystery Palazzo to me.

I’m out tonight for dinner with Carmen, my Lecce Italian teacher. She has promised me perfect pizza and lots of people so I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll report back.