WHITE TOWNS AND THE PUGLIESE COAST
The second day we started out from our trullo and first found ourselves strolling the shady, cool narrow streets of the town of Locorotondo... one of the gorgeous white hilltowns Puglia is famous for. The white comes from the white tufa stone in the region... and white marble. It also is from the Greek roots of southern Italy. The Greeks ruled here long before the Romans and at times we felt like we were in Greece. The pot gardens around every corner were lush. We enjoyed wide vistas from a little park... then gelato to refresh us instead of lunch (everything closed at lunchtime!) Afterwards we drove to the coast and saw the Adriatic Sea for the first time. Low rocky, rugged coastline peppered with grottoes, little beach coves and palm trees. The cleanest water I've seen.
We wound up at Egnazia, an archaeological site at the edge of the sea with ruin of a 2600 year old Messopotamian civilization and a Roman town from 200 bc. There was also an excellent museum with urns, glass, jewelry, sculptures and everyday objects almost three millennium old. Lucas got some ideas for his next pottery class and bought some gifts for classmates.
By evening we came upon Polignano a Mare... a great old town with ancient historic center on the sea. Its best feature is the little beach tucked down between sea cliffs below the bridge through town. We parked a few blocks in from the sea and walked around a bit in the Centro Storico. It was around 6 or so and we had to wait an hour and a half for any restaurant to open for dinner. We found an artisan pizza restaurant right across from the beach, but they weren't open yet. (La Terrazza) The kind waitress let us sit at a side table and have drinks and snacks before they opened. Then we finally had our pizzas--individual pizzas that filled our plates and our bellies. Lucas had one with hot sausage on it, Lisa had eggplant and grana padano cheese, mine had sweet sausage, pesto and pignoli nuts. By far the best pizzas we've had in Italy so far.
It took us an hour or so to drive back up the windy roads to the plateau where our trullo house was. We tucked ourselves in our trullo and slept dreaming of Romans, the sea, grottoes, and pizza...
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