18-19 May, 2011
Alberobello is another quaint looking place with a fairy-tale-like atmosphere due to the unique local architectural form, the trullo. There are a couple of thousand trulli in this small town: buildings made of stone slabs, traditionally “dry” (without mortar), with distinctive conical roofs. Some of them have been turned into gift shops, bars and cafes but most are still used as ordinary homes. I got here by train on a trunk line from Taranto to Martina Franca, then a change to the Martina-Franca to Bari line.
In the museum located in an old trullo, Trullo Sovrano (unusual for having a second strorey with an internal staircase) there were evocative depictions of everyday life in a trullo centuries ago. Bread-making was a corner-stone activity. Large quantities were made daily by communal effort, the well-kneaded dough often placed on the matrimonial bed to help it rise. The traditional Mediterranean diet was often believed to be poor and unworthy to be offered to guests, but is now known to be very healthy. It included such dishes as cicorielle selvatiche all’olio (wild chicory with oil): “Wash the cicorielle thoroughly, parboil, drain and dress with olive oil and salt. Goes well with white fava beans.”
Erbe, radici, frutti spontanei, simboli non solo di nutrimento ma anche di purezza, di limpidezza e di semplicità. La dieta mediterranea è la dietta della luce Mediterraneo.
(Herbs, roots, wild fruits are symbols not only of nutrition but also of purity and simplicity. The Mediterranean diet is the diet of the Mediterranean sun.)