We drove along the arch of Italy’s sole, stopping at a beach for a leisurely stroll while Craig attempted to save giant jellyfish that had been washed up. Then we headed inland and took a wonderful road through the countryside. Fields were being seeded with grass and varied from freshly churned mud to fluorescent green pastures. The fields were separated by dry stone walling, it reminded me of the Yorkshire dales but without the hills.
We were driving to Alberobello to see the famous trullo houses, but happened to come across a lot of them along the rural road.
Trullo houses are typically white circular buildings with high conical roofs made from layered slate. Sometimes a white image is painted on the roof; some say it’s the signature of the stone mason. No one really knows why their designed the way they are, as they aren’t very practical shapes, but I read it could be from high housing tax in the past, so if an inspector came along they could quickly dismantle their home.
There are roughly 1500 trulli in Alberobello, which is rare for so many to of survived in an urban area. There were rows of them leading up and down streets and through alleys. I preferred the ones in the countryside though as we managed to walk inside some disused ones and see how spacious they were, how high they rose and how annoying they would be to fit furniture in. Put it this way, you wouldn’t buy a modern day flat screen TV for a trullo house.
After a while of wondering we’d seen enough, they were nice but it was all a bit repetitive and we got a bit bored so treated ourselves to our first Italian pizza. What a let down. I know we weren’t in Naples, the ‘home’ of the pizza, but we were in Italy, the country of the pizza! It lacked flavour, it was rather dry and didn’t even come with a pretty olive or basil leaf on top. Never mind I thought, I’ll finish off with a tiramisu. Well, that was also crap, the booze and coffee were too weak and the cream was over whipped. Dear oh dear Italy! Craig and I met while working at pizza express; pizza is my biggest weakness, we rarely eat out but when we do I have my eyes set on one thing, and it ain’t Craig. The pizzas we ate in Latvia and Romania were better than the one we ate here. Everyone’s going to say we ate at the wrong place, but it was busy, and with Italians too.
All that was left for us to do in Italy was drive back through Bari and buy our ferry ticket to Croatia. Craig illegally parked while I walked a few blocks to the office, dodging dog poos again. I walked behind an Italian man who just left a bakery. His receipt ‘fell’ out of his hand and stuck onto my leg. Maybe it was an accident. Next block his patisserie wrapper ‘falls’ onto the pavement too. What a dick, what makes people think they can do that? And so many Italians do it because it’s covered in trash everywhere. I really wanted to say something to him, but then an old man walked past me with a beautiful dog and a bag of dog poo! Hallelujah! I wanted to hug him. One person just isn’t enough though, and even though we had a really enjoyable time in Italy, and saw some incredible sunsets, I’m glad to be leaving.
Italy, you have a second chance when we arrive in your beautiful mountainous region of the north in a few weeks. Let’s hope its more influenced by your wonderful Austrian neighbours. We’ll see.