There are so many places to go and things to do in Puglia but two good places to start are the city of Ostuni and the town of Alberobello. You may never have heard of either but believe me, you don’t know what you’re missing! Ostuni sits perched atop a hill that overlooks the surrounding Puglian countryside and is known locally as the white city on account of its preponderance of white-washed walls and buildings. Although it has a population similar to Waterford, it has a ‘small town’ feel about it and is a great place to start your Italian adventure wandering around the cobbled, winding streets of the old town centre, discovering one antiquity after the other as you make your way towards one fantastic viewing point after another.
The afternoon was spent exploring an even more amazing oddity — the Trullo-rich town of Alberobello. Trulli’s are unique buildings of modest proportions and conical roofs all composed entirely of dry-stone walls and made with a local stone that lends itself to being cut and carved in order to produce such architectural gems. There are over 2,000 of these buildings in Alberobello alone (no, that is not a mis-print!) and you can walk through entire lane ways and streets lined on either side with these amazing structures, most of which now boast small shops selling quality artisan products. The weather was unfortunately against me today and it was raining heavily when I visited so I know that I didn’t get to see it at its best but notwithstanding that fact, Alberobello is still a sight to behold and a truly unique place — as evidenced by its recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
If you ever manage to get yourself down to that neck of the woods (and I strongly urge that you do so) then try to arrive there as early as possible in the day or overnight there from the day before as it is extremely popular with tourists.
I wonder why?