The southern hilltop town, Locorotondo, from Latin "locus rotundus," (round place) earns its name from the very circular nature of its formation. Ancient alleyways spread in circles from the centrally-located principle piazza and church in this white-washed city. Not to be confused with the larger, official citta bianca, Ostuni, another white city we visited during the week, Locorotondo is the place where you will want to get lost with your camera, or maybe your lover, not your whining 7-year-old girl, just at sunrise or sunset.
Locorotondo is in the province of Bari.
We rolled into town late Thursday morning, market day in Locorotondo, and after a stroll through the lively market, we wandered a bit through the narrow paths of the old town. While I'm generally not very interested in most market crap (Ouch!) in my neck of the woods, save the consumables, I do fancy markets outside of our region, if only for their variation on the theme of crap. Bad attitudes aside, a southern Italian market is a akin to a stage promising a show with a delightful cast of characters; this one did not fail us.
We bought cheese and salami, tomatoes and peaches, chick peas and lentils. A favorite was the taralli available in flavors such as fennel, pizza, onion, garlic, and even a sweet version with almonds and glazed sugar. I found a sassy bag perfect for my sister (Made in China, sorry Sis), and a simple beach hat per moi.
Outside of the ancient city, we also visited a couple of wineries, if only to stock up with a case or two to bring home. We are "those people" when hosting a dinner party: "Yes, this is a XYZ bottle of wine that we discovered while touring the delightful countryside of Puglia; 'twas marvelous darling, simply mawvelous. It's a 200X, and blah, blah, blah. . . ." Not! We are more like this: "Does it taste good? Will I have a headache tomorrow? Can I fill your glass?" We encountered some of "those people," wine snobs, in the States this summer and found them to be insufferable and quite comical. The people at the Cantina Sociale di Locorotondo, by the way, were by far the friendliest.
I always enjoy images of wine in plastic jugs or bags in boxes (which is gaining popularity, according to the New York Times.) Just like a regular filling station, locals bring glass bottles or demijonhs and fill 'er up with the local offerings. Wine is for the masses here. No wine snobbery allowed. Mostly.
Just an FYI: A very well-equipped park is located just off the piazza where the market takes place -- lots of swings and climbing equipment. Oh, and many benches, too!
What else can I say? GO! You won't be sorry. No, really. I'm serious. I loved this place. We all did. Even our, "I-just-want-to-swing-all-day-why-do-I-have-to-walk-through-these-streets-while-mommy-takes-photos-where-is-the-pool-can-I-have-gelato?" seven-year-old girl.
A nice shot of said girly enjoying her time in Locorotondo, which is a direct result of bribery or threats, I assure you.
Up Next: To the Water