Italy
Ostuni

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ostuni. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

14 travelers at this place:

  • Day224

    Today we passed by Castel Del Monte, an interestingly designed octagonal castle built back in the 13th century by Frederick II. The land changed from flat expanses that lent itself to huge agricultural fields, through to gently rolling hills on a rocky red soil. Dry stone walls partitioned the area into small plots which were tended by single people by hand, weeding between the newly planted greens, spraying the vines or using a handsaw to prune olive trees.

    The distinctive conical stone roofs of the Trulli appeared frequently and the further south we drove the more we found had been modernised, their individual stones plastered over and whitewashed. There were even some new ones being built!

    Thw town of Ostuni bills itself as the'white city' and it certainly made an impression as we rounded a corner and saw its lime washed buildings sitting on the crest of the hill. We pulled into a clean gravel car park under the shade of pines (no evidence of Processional Pine Caterpillars on these ones!). A clamorous cacophony of chirping came from the trees and shrubs around and we decided to stay the night. There was a charge for the parking but after so many free stopovers we were happy to pay, especially as van facilities were provided.

    After lunch we went for an amble around the stunning old town. There were several other tourists there, including an English foursome - the place was set up for a lot of incomers. Today however, the streets were quiet and because of the winding cobbled lanes, connected via quaint courtyards and flights of steps (whitewashed of course), we often found ourselves with no one else around. There was a Moroccan influence, gleaming white walls were everywhere you looked and the jewellery, clothing and crockery on sale stood out against them with warm yellows, blues, oranges and reds. Making decisions about where to explore next at every junction, we often discovered ourselves to be wandering up the same lane twice without having realised, but that was part of the joy of the place. Another thing we came across was several instillations by #OstuniGreenRiot who had planted greenery in and around the town. There were vintage suitcases containing cacti, a string of small spherical planters hanging in an alleyway (together with a sign offering free kisses!) as well as other guerilla gardening projects using pallets, window boxes and old tree branches. It brought to mind our local Transition group back in Stourbridge.

    The temperature had risen to 16°C and we were dressed comfortably in a couple of layers, in contrast to the Italians who were still bundled up in puffa jackets, hats and scarves (coupled with the obligatory cool sunglasses!) There was a warm wind and the next morning it brought very heavy rain, sleet and thunder. We were glad we'd chosen the previous day to explore!
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  • Day59

    We always need food

    January 10 in Italy

    Sadly, our stay in magical marvellous Matera came to an end. We packed up our bags and hyped ourselves up for the tour we were absolutely to begin. Alessandro, a tour guide and as we later discovered, a wine and olive oil sommelier was taking us to Ostuni. On the way, we were to stop at Martina Franco and Alberobello.

    The Awesome Foursomes don’t go anywhere with anyone unless food was involved. Alessandro knew us well and after a 10 minute drive, he stopped us at a bakery to eat some typical Matera bread and focaccia. We stocked up on 3 different types of focaccia which unfortunately was to be saved for Ostuni’s meals. No eating. Arriving in Martina Franco, we were amazed at how our guide was able to navigate the small alley ways to show us the beautiful town. We toured a palace and was described daily life in the ancient (pronounced ain-s-ient) times. Soon we were lead out of the town, back to the car and ready for or next stop.

    Remember, we need food. So, our next stop was a cheese tasting. Our tour guide lead us passed the cheese shop and getting anxious, thinking we need to walk more for our food, we were lead through a beaded curtain and were greeted by 6 muscled men making the cheese. They were working hard and fast making buffalo mozzarella. Our tour guide explained to us that the liquid they are dishing the cheese out of is 65C and that’s when we discovered that the men’s hands were bright pink and they had to dip it in cold water every few minutes not seconds to stop it from scalding. Then they started making another cheese that was half ricotta half cream cheese. The blocks of this cheese that one man was scooping out of a 1m deep trough was 3kg and he lifted it like it was a marshmallow. Now, I appreciate cheese even more and try very hard no to think of all the sweat that may be in my cheese. Yuck!! We then were finally able to taste the various cheeses and were in love. We bought 3 different cheeses which were again, to be kept for Ostuni.

    Alberobello is a town filled with trulli. Trulli are what look like tepees made out of stones. I will let the photos describe. Words can’t. They were phenomenal. Perfectly rounded and all the same so the town looks almost identical in every direction yet each corner has something different. From, houses owned by old Nona’s to restaurants and souvenir shops. Knowing us well, Alessandro lead us into a pastry shop known for their typical pastry cakes. So of course, we had to get some and these, we could eat immediately. Yay!

    Our next stop was the olive oil farm where we going to find out how olive oil was made . This time, in an industrial way rather than a small farm production like Francesco and his families in Assisi. We were allowed to taste the olive oil. More food.
    Crates containing 350kg of olives lined the factory and they looked yummy. I wanted to jump right in and start eating them all but I contained by urge and stayed out of the crate. We were explained how olive oil was made manually which takes 3-4 hours and mechanically which took 45 minutes. The mechanical machine was going full steam ahead and to see the process was amazing. From whole olives being washed to mushy olives looked like tapenade to curd looking oil to pure olive oil. It was quite amazing to see the process. We tasted the olive oils (all 6 types) and were amazed at how olive oil can taste so different depending on whether it is organic or not and manually or mechanically made. Quite frankly, I could taste the difference between organic or not but manually made olive oil tasted so much better. Now average mini market bought olive oil is not nice. We are so spoilt in Italy with food.

    Later arriving in Ostuni, we were taken to our accomodation which is 3.5 stories. Bedrooms on the ground floor and a bathroom (all very open plan), a bathroom as you ascend the stairs, a kitchen, dining and living area on the next level and the 4th level has a beautiful terrace.

    We were so tired, we made our way to dinner then collapsed in our super comfy bed ready for our exploration the next morning.

    I thought after the busy day we had yesterday full of cheese and olive oil tastings . We would be up at mid day.

    First day in ostuni we all must have been excited to explore . We where all up by 8am . We had a very yummy breakfast of foccasies, cheese and bread. We all scoffed down our breakfast and decided to go and visit the only 2 sites listed in kai's Kindle. The cathedral which was amazing inside with beautiful facades. We where very fortunate to have the sun shine through the windows so we could see the interior of the cathedral. The second site was an archeological museum it was a 5 euro entrance fee so we gave it a miss.

    We then went for a walk to find dudo's coffee. A nice lady in a shop recommended a coffee place up the street. Which serves appertivos so look forward to writing about it in our next post.

    After a slow stroll in the park it started to bucket down with rain. In a panic Kai got the umbrella out and the camera went back in the case.

    We where very fortunate to have some left over pasta , garlic and a tin of tomatoes and cheese from our cheese tasting shop yesterday to have for lunch. Otherwise we might have just starved. As we figured out ostuni is like a ghost town nothing was open except a few sandwich shops and coffee shops.

    Now we are all sitting in our apartment catching up with reality Facebook, emails and what's app.
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  • Day61

    Ostuni

    January 12 in Italy

    Ostuni

    Ostuni is a tiny white hamlet that sits atop a hill in Puglia (or Apulia), guarding the region at the heel of Italy. It is so small that it takes only 10 minutes to stroll from one end of town to the other, and 30 minutes to walk the circumference with stops for photos and look into the few shops that may be open. Indeed, being off season, the town was very quiet and very few places were open. There was such a slow rhythm to everything, it seemed like the town just went to sleep, hibernating and waiting for Easter when the tourist season would begin. It was nice to have the narrow windy streets and scenic lookouts to ourselves, even if it meant that we were stared at by the few old men or old ladies around.

    We explored the town most thoroughly on our first morning, before the rain came in the afternoon. Not having found anything interesting open for lunch, we cooked at the apartment, and were just about to settle for a restful quiet afternoon when Kai slipped on a puddle in the lounge. There was a leak! As the rain intensified, so did the number of leaks. Kai found more buckets, and we used then with all the pots and pans. Grace kept in contact with the apartment owner who received a progress report about the increasing number of leaks and their location. He was most apologetic and did not even mind that Grace melted his coffee maker. A brand new one with fresh coffee beans was delivered the next morning. Fortunately, the rain stopped by the evening and before the ceiling fell.

    The sun shone when we woke the second morning. We explored the town again in the morning, and failing to find any corner or alley we have not been down at least twice, we decided to go to the beach. The lady at the tourist information was most helpful. She told us that there was only one bus in Ostuni, and only one bus stop. The microbus (honestly, the tiny bus is called a microbus) leaves Ostuni for the beach at 1.15pm and picks up from the beach at 4.50pm.

    We decided to have lunch at the local cafe/newsagent/restaurant/bar. The town is so tiny that one little place served all those functions. We discovered it had great coffee and simple but tasty homemade pastas and sandwiches. When the owner heard that we had no car, he shook his head. Then he leant that we were going to the beach, and he exclaimed, " Mama Mia!" with his five fingertips pressed together and waving at us. Different regions of Italy have totally different cultures, different foods, different pastas, different dialects and accents. But, they all exclaim "Mama Mia!" in the same way, with the same gesture of five fingertips pressed together, waving in exactly the same way. Even the little boy of about 7 exclaimed it, with the appropriate gesture, when the soccer ball he kicked just missed Kai's head.

    We went to the beach armed with Kindle, books and a pack of cards to occupy ourselves with. Before we got off the microbus, the driver gesticulated for us to wait. He got his bus timetable out and circled 4.50pm, the time for us to catch the bus back to Ostuni. Guess he did not want us to miss the only bus back.

    We walked along the beach from one bay to the next. It was a mixture of sandy bays, rocky bays, and bays of dried corals. One thing that was prevalent was litter and garbage. It was sad to see a coastline robbed of its beauty by sheer laziness and care-lessness. Apartments and houses of various sizes lined the beaches, and all were shut and boarded up. Collectively, they formed a ghost town with stay cats that eyed us suspiciously. Needless to say, the beach was deserted. There were 2 men casting their fishing lines into the waves, and a few local tourists who stayed no more than 5 minutes to take a few photos before driving away. We walked along the bays, we walked in ghost town, admired the bigger and more fancy houses that fronted the beach, and explored the rock pools. Time flew by. Only Kindle emerged from the bag, but it was not read. When we went for apertivo, the cafe owner seemed relived to see us back from the beach. He gave us some pizza "free, free" as though to celebrate our return.

    We could have stayed in Ostuni for many more days, but it was time to leave for Naples after 3 nights.
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  • Day3

    Um Alberobello

    October 8 in Italy

    Die Heimat der Trulli und Ziel des internationalen Tourismus... so steht es im Reiseführer. Gehen wir es an.
    Nach gewohnt ausgiebigem Frühstück, eine kurze Anfahrt (ca. 26 km). Und dann eine Stadt voller Trulli, die wir aber rasch bei einer geplanten Rundwanderung durch das urbane Umland verlassen.
    Dann über etwa 13 km durch Olivenhaine, Steineichenwälchen und querfeldein, immer wieder verfallene, bewohnte und dann luxuriös rekonstruierte ortstypische Gebäude. Eine hübsche Wanderung.
    Am Abend dann in Ceglie Messapica lecker einheimische Pizza und jetzt zum Abschluss ein „Nero d’Avola“.
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  • Day4

    Martina Franca

    October 9 in Italy

    Martina Franca, ein vom Massentourismus verschontes Städchen!
    Im Reiseführer als Barockstadt von europäischem Rang mit einem der schönsten und interessantesten urbanen Zentrum der Region gelobt. Ich schließe mich durchaus der Meinung des Autors an, das der durchaus andernorts schwülstige Barock hier mit einer charmanten Eleganz bezaubert. Wir ließen uns einfach durch die schmalen Gassen spülen und treiben, lecker italienisches Eis für die Kinder, Cappuccino und Café Americano für die Großen auf der Piazza Maria Immacolata... la dolce vita 😊

    Heute Abend gibt es wieder Spaghetti mit Tomatensauce aus lokalen Produkten.

    Ach ja, und hier die Bilder...
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  • Day6

    Erst Frühstück, dann in der Sonne an unserem Pool bis zum Mittag abhängen.
    Dann ab nach Torre S. Leonardo, einem jetzt verlassenen Strandort am Adriatischen Meer. Die Kinder buddeln im weißen Sand, geschmierte Brote am Strand...
    Dann Olivenöl bei Ostuni direkt beim Hersteller gekauft (haben wir einfach gegoogelt 😜). Und dann den Hinweisschildern zu einem Monolithen aus dem 2. Jht. v. Chr. (Bronzezeit) gefolgt, dem Dolmen von Montalbano.

    Zum Abschluss Pizza in Pascarosa, einem verschlafenen Weiler in unserer Nähe (von unserem Vermieter empfohlen). Aber leider, wie beim ersten Versuch geschlossen!
    Also auf nach Cisternino und dort Pizza genießen in der „Doppelten Null“ und einen leckeren Primitivo.
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  • Day7

    Der letzte Tag

    October 12 in Italy

    Ein wahnsinns Sonnentag... Zunächst abhängen am Pool, dann hatten sich die Mädels eine „Schatzsuche“ für die Erwachsenen ausgedacht. Mit allerlei Rätseln, die unter Richtungsangaben und Schrittzahlen zu suchen waren, gelangten wir zum Schatz! Zwei wunderschöne Wildblumensträußchen!!! Ein wahrer Schatz. Vielen Dank den beiden Mädels.

    Dann sollte es noch einmal nach Cisternino gehen. Im historischen Stadtzentrum gibt es zahlreiche Rosticcerie. Eine Art Fleischerei, in der deftige Fleischgerichte am offenen Grill nach eigener Wahl angeboten werden. Besonderheit... man kann das Fleisch auch mit nach Hause zum selbst Grillen mitnehmen! Gleiches taten wir also, in einem Tante-Emma-Laden noch etwas frisches Gemüse und ein Weinchen, aus dem Supermarkt beim Bahnhof noch die Grillkohle besorgt und nun den letzten Abend in Apulien ausklingen lassen.Read more

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Ostuni

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