One of the lands I love the most? ? undoubtedly Puglia. And so, albeit with little time available, I decided to visit these parts. The area in question? the Valle d'Itria, that territory that is a little more? north of the Murge plateau, also known as the Valley of the Trulli. You can let this itinerary flow under your eyes, read it, or make it yours and set out to discover these wonderful places.
I forgot! Mascot and undisputed protagonist of this tour de force? it was surely her ... Am? lie, che? managed to make many conquests ...
First stop on this tour? Putignano, a town in the province of Bari, known above all for its Carnival and for the karst caves. Just outside the country c '? in fact the famous Grotta del Trullo, the first tourist site in southern Italy, inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III himself, almost as if to underline its importance. Very well-trained and very nice speleologists will lead you to discover this magical underground world that, if you pass this way, you cannot miss!
I had read somewhere about the beauty of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie just outside the city.
In the middle of the Apulian countryside the navigator indicated the destination reached, but around, only olive trees, olive trees and more olive trees, a donkey, and two columns on the side of the road with a sign? "private property". I set the navigator again and go around again but ... nothing ... he always carried there ?. I decide not to follow him and start wandering these streets but to no avail. I try to go beyond the columns. At the end of the hill, a house and a gentleman at the door. I did not know whether to think well why? I had found someone, or bad, why? had I entered a property? private. I ask for information and an elderly lady comes out behind him, probably busy in the kitchen, who beckons me to follow her. With big keys he opens the door of a cave to me and inside ... a marvel! I admit that my amazement and my disbelief? derived more? from the strangeness of the situation, from the fact that it was not reported, that she had the keys to that place, and from its infinite sweetness. Did he start talking about her, her life, her land, and that place, only apparently forgotten by God? There are no words to describe it all. Simply fantastic! Simply Must See!
About thirty kilometers from Putignano c ?? Locorotondo. The name recalls the shape of the historic center, a set of small white houses arranged in concentric rings. The city? ? already? fascinating if you look at it as a whole in the distance. A place with "rediscovered time", how? written in a restaurant sign. Where you can breathe a real time, one made of simple things, the one now lost.
Stop of the day? Martina Franca, in the province of Taranto. A city? elegant, stately, rich in history, culture and tradition. Also in this case the historic center? a maze of alleys to get lost in? a moment, but if you don't have a particular destination to reach, and a limited time, I would say that getting lost here? very beautifull. Not surprisingly, only later, I discovered that the labyrinthine structure of the city? it was a means of buying time in the event of an enemy invasion. The rest of the city? ? in perfect Baroque and Rococ style ?, and there? ? visible in the myriad of palaces, churches and residences, really scattered everywhere.
A few kilometers from Martina Franca c '? Cisternino, and this time we are in the province of Brindisi. The atmosphere that reigns in this city? it seems unreal. The white of the houses? almost blinding, and the streets are a set of courtyards, small passages, stairways, arches and squares. Walking around the country? how to visit the homes of every single inhabitant. Cisternino looks like the city? of all and for all.
Can't you? go to Puglia without going through Alberobello. Queen of the Itria Valley and the Land of the Trulli, the city? ? today famous for these buildings, heritage of humanity? and UNESCO. The tourist part of the city? ? obviously the area pi? visited, and? no doubt enchanting. Here you can really find everything, from specialties? dishes with typical Apulian craftsmanship. The monumental area? for? the one that, if you like, retains a greater authenticity. Many trulli are now inhabited here and many others are instead used as Bed & Breakfast !!
Last stop of this short but intense tour. Polignano a Mare and Monopoli. The numerous films shot in this city? have undoubtedly contributed to increasing its fame, but Polignano a Mare? really the city? wonders, narrow alleys, hidden corners, stairways, ceramics, breathtaking views, caves on the sea (famous? the Grotta Palazzese now home to the homonymous restaurant located right inside) but above all ... the city ? of poetry. Going around Polignano? like leafing through a great book. Poems and aphorisms are scattered everywhere, on the walls, on the stairways or on old doors. All with the same handwriting. I drive the Fl? Neur ne? the architect, cos? he wants to define and sign himself every now and then.
The Fl? Neur stood for Baudelaire, that gentleman who loved to wander the streets of the town and let himself be carried away by the wonder of the place. And so what? does our friend Guido here in Polignano (how to blame him ?!), whose intent? to bring people closer to literature, the great love of his life.
A few kilometers from Polignano is Monopoli, a wonderful cultural center overlooking the sea. Unfortunately, I admit that I have seen little of this city, I limited myself to getting lost once again in the white alleys of the historic center, full of places of worship and delightful clubs, and to have stopped in the ancient port of the town. Here the fishermen return every evening in their delightful blue boats, emblem of the city? of Monopoli.
With these two cities? my mini Apulian tour ends which, albeit short, has touched many places.
I hope you enjoyed it, I hope someone does, but most of all I hope I have shown you another beautiful place in the world.