I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
The Wedding Cake Town
area of Italy is mostly flat, and any lumps or hills were ideal locations to
settle, because it allowed you to see the invading Turks in time to run and
hide. This problem with the Turks seems to have been a constant one through
history, and it is said that although the local dialects are so distinct that
people from one town could not understand the "Italian" spoken in
another, the one common expression was "The Turks are coming!".
View From Ostuni
Shop in Ostuni
town that took advantage of a hilltop location was Ostuni, and this town
completely covers a round hill sticking up out of an otherwise flat landscape.
the problem of constantly invading Turks was resolved (I am sorry, but I do not
know the history of this; I'm on vacation not research), the town decided to
enhance their favourable position on top of a hill and visible from miles, and
they painted the town white. Literately, almost the entire town is painted
gleaming white. Driving towards Ostuni, you can see the white dome of the hill
for miles, and it really does look like a Wedding Cake. From a distance with
the buildings all built so close together, it looks like the entire top of the
hill is one white dome of white frosting. This decision to paint the town, has
created an upkeep problem however, and during our visit to Ostuni, I saw three men busy
with large buckets of white paint.
Pass on the Left?
you get to the town, you must climb up twisting narrow streets to get the top,
where the church sits. Unlike most towns where the church sits proudly
dominating the town square, here the square is part way up the hill, and the
church sits at the top very tightly surrounded by other houses, probably the
rich and powerful who felt being in close proximity to God and church for
protection from the Turks was more important than being on the town square.
narrow streets that wind and twist up the hill make driving interesting in
Ostuni. Here in Lecce the streets are narrow, but someone had the sense to make
most one-way, and many are straight, so even if the street is two way, you can
see oncoming vehicles and take action, but in Ostuni, I saw repeated incidents
of vehicles coming around a tight corner to find someone coming the other way,
causing someone to have to reverse to a wider section. No wonder Smarts,
motorized trikes and scooters are the practical choice for many.
I did not see any wedding shops in the town; you would think that would be a