I love walking in the open air through the countryside, and here in Salento there are fantastic views to be seen in spring time. So much so that even if finding the time to write is getting harder because of the summer season approaching (which means more work), I still wanted to write this post and let you see images of the countryside. Here is what I saw in the Itria Valley between the towns of Ceglie Messapica, Cisternino and Ostuni. In the meantime I also did the Transalentina, a 50 km Isthmian race walk from Otranto to Gallipoli, organised by the SpeleoTrekkingSalento Association. But I will talk about it in another post.
Ceglie Messapica – Cisternino: 15 km
While writing I remembered that I had been to Ceglie some time ago and ate at the famous Cibus restaurant. I advise you to go there if you want to discover a kind of Puglia cuisine with a certain personality. The countryside in this part of the Itria Valley is marvellous: trulli, century old forests of olive trees, little roads for cross-country trekking and quiet. Typical spring temperatures, but under a blazing sun you can feel the heat on your head! Half way through the race, we passed through an uninhabited village full of trulli, called Pascarosa of which I knew nothing. It is perched among the hills, full of trulli and white. I discovered later that it had no residents and if there were any, they are less than the fingers of one hand. It has some kind of restructured holiday home accommodation though. We arrived at Cisternino at 2 o’clock pm
Cisternino – Ostuni: 13 km
Our arrival at Cisternino was blessed by a quick lunch with bombette. Bombette is a typical dish in this town. They are little breaded meat rolls that taste delicious. With the bombette we had some capocollo from Martina Franca and some burrata from Andria. The historic centre of Cisternino is full of butchers’ that make the bombette on the spot and they also cook them on the spot. In other words, you choose the meat you want and you eat it there and then. We had lunch with the owner of the restaurant who gave us a lift to Ostuni by car so we wouldn’t be too late and get to Ceglie Messapica in the light of day.
Ostuni – Ceglie Messapica: 15 km
I have also written about Ostuni before. To be precise, other guest bloggers wrote about it in the article Ostuni, the pearl of Salento. But I feel I also have to write something more personal about this white city. We had a quick coffee in the historic centre of Ostuni. We went for a walk and saw the panoramic view towards the sea. Then off we went again, race walking through the countryside towards Ceglie Messapica for another 15 kilometres. The countryside is marvellous here as well. It is mainly full of olive trees as far as the eye can see. Here and there there is an agritourismo or holiday accomodation in a restructured masseria or trullo.
The quality of the photos isn’t too good because they were taken with a simple mobile phone but they give you an idea of the places. I intentionally avoided taking the camera I always take with me, so I didn’t have to carry extra weight in my rucksack. After all I did walk for 32 km … Go and visit this beautiful place. It’s in the heart of Puglia, the one you see on postcards and where you will find all the beauty you expect to find here.