The Trulli, these strange stone constructions topped with conical roofs, found exclusively in the Puglia region in Italy and concentrated mainly in the Itria Valley, had always intrigued us. They used to be the home of peasants, with the family occupying a couple of cones and the livestock some others. Many of the Trulli have now been renovated while keeping their original features. When the opportunity to spend a few days in one of these unusual houses we did not hesitate.
Our stay was not in the height of summer but in late September. We were wondering if the temperatures would have cooled down significantly already but we found that the days were hot and the evenings still balmy enough to sit outside. The salt-water pool on our property was a welcome way of cooling off after relaxing in the sun and we appreciated our meals near the ancient olive tree. Our family is keen on cooking and the opportunity to prepare our homemade pizza and cook it in the stone oven was without a doubt one of the highlights of our holiday. No pizza ever tasted better.
We still managed to tear ourselves away from this idyllic place to do a bit of sightseeing. We headed to Torre Vado and its impressive 16th century tower, a vestige of the times when the Saracens and the Turks were conducting regular raids on the coast. We tasted ricci di mare (sea urchins) that day, a local delicacy best eaten during the months ending with an "r" for freshness. The animals were opened for us as this can be a tricky operation if you do not know what you are doing. We opted for eating them raw and were surprised at the consistency but enjoyed the taste. The sea urchins can also be cooked of course, all you have to do is ask and you will be given many possible recipes!
On the shores of the beautiful Ionian Sea the most magnificent beaches can be found. Some areas have been nicknamed "The Italian Maldives" and it is easy to understand why: That famous crystalline waters and fine, golden sand combination. We were very happy to still be able to dip in the sea and doze on the much less crowded beaches given the time of the year.
Our trip was unfortunately a short one, but we will definitely be back. There is still much to discover in the wonderful Apulia