In these three days, we have been to Alberobello, Ostuni, Matera and Bari. We chose Alberobello as our base (read here more about this enchanting city) and were able to reach all these cities by car within one hour.
The roads in Apulia are anything else but crowded. In general, driving there was pleasant, however the streets are not in the best condition, with many pits and holes. Besides, Italians are pretty much racers. I was always driving with a speed slightly higher than the limit. Nevertheless, I was overtaken by almost every car, which drove behind me. They crossed the solid line, and double solid line. I even started thinking that in Italy the road marking differs from elsewhere. In the opposite, the drivers in Alberobello were extremely polite toward the pedestrians: they let us cross the street even if we were not on the zebra-crossing.
Dolmen di Montalbano
On our way to Ostuni we drove by the Dolmen di Montalbano (Contrada Montalbano, Fasano, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy). The dolmen itself is in poor condition and not fascinating, however the surroundings are picturesque: endless fields of olive trees with its twisted trunks will make you stop and enjoy the atmosphere.
Ostuni, the white city
Ostuni is usually referred to as “the White Town” or “La Città Bianca” in Italian for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture.
I was surprised to learn that Ostuni is the fifth city in Italy by percentage of British residents and, attention, the first for sale of houses and villas by the British!
One of the oldest cafes in Ostuni is Caffeteria Italia (Via Giovanni Lanza, 2, 72017 Ostuni BR, Italy). Here, a very friendly owner sells delicious coffee.
Matera, the cave city
The town of Matera lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravia river. Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, people were living there since the 10th millennium BC (supposedly, these were the first human settlements on the territory of Italy). The ancient town is called Sassi di Matera, it gained international fame for Matera and is protected by UNESCO since 1993.
It’s hard to believe that until the 1950s people were living in Sassi, without electricity and without any comfort. After the government of Italy forced the most of the Sassi population to relocate, the city of Matera gained the interest of tourists. For 2019, Matera was declared Italian host of the European Capital of Culture.