Alberobello

Posted on February 1, 2012

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I’ve been staying in San Vito, Italy since early January. The arrival here went smooth enough and it’s been a very enjoyable visit. The people have been beyond friendly and while a language barrier exists it isn’t as debilitating as one might thing. A simple effort to use some local words can go a long way and with a goal to learn multiple languages it’s easy to take an extra step to learn more words everyday.

The food has been absolutely amazing my entire visit and the only drawback I’ve had so far is not having the ability to try everything on the menu (a new dilemma in my book).

After a few weeks exploring the closer towns such as San Vito, Brindisi, Carovigno, and Ostuni I was finally broke free from my small area I had been exploring and was able to see more of the Puglia area. I was under an hours drive away from the small town of Alberobello. It’s a tourist trap type town but since it’s the offseason the place was devoid of any foreigners. It was windy but the chill quickly vanished once the picturesque Trulli homes came into view.

I walked up and down the cobblestone roads and side roads for hours, the homes are truly fascinating. I managed to get a dilapidated history of the place from a local, my Italian is still not  where I’d like it to be so the details were fuzzy. From what I can tell a Prince long ago told the locals they could build homes made of stone, this wasn’t the norm so he added the catch that they couldn’t use a mortar of any type. The Prince apparently thought this was a clever way to please the people while not giving them the ability to make homes that were anything more them temporary. Obviously the plan didn’t work out how the Prince wanted as the Trulli houses remain to this day.

The houses are pleasing to the eye as well as impressive after you hear how they came to be. I can imagine during the summer months the place must be crawling with tourists so it was nice to have a quiet stroll through the town full of locals. I picked up a local hand-made top that I’m still trying to master and picked up a few post cards for the friends back home. As I was wrapping up my tour I was pulled into a store by a chatty italian women who proceeded to hand me tester after tester of the local liquors. After trying what seemed like every liquor in the store I had to politely decline anymore. She was quite the saleswomen and after the large quantities of cookies and liquors she had thrown my way I felt obligated to buy something. She laughed as I struggled to repeat, in Italian, the liquor I had enjoyed the most. With a ciao I left the shop with coconut liquor in hand.

Regardless of the season I would recommend a stop at Alberbello. The houses are delightful and the people that I met were friendly and patient with my lack of Italian. I stopped at a memorable restaurant whose front door led you down a staircase carved into rock, the entire restaurant was actually underground and the other entrance led to a street a block down. I ordered mozzarella balls wrapped in bacon for an appetizer and my first veal since in Italy for the main course. The food was absolutely amazing and I plan on returning even if for another bacon mozzarella appetizer. Yes, it was that good.

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Posted in: Italy '12