Our next stop was the city of Crispiano, a small place in Puglia, approximately forty-five minutes away from Laterza, by car. We chose this city for no real reason, other than the fact that it seemed as if it would be a nice place to spend a few days, relaxing and soaking up some of the southern-Italian, small-town culture. We knew it was not a city full of museums, and other things that normal tourists found so attractive. Yet, the city had a rich history, as well as a few monuments that any place would be proud of, and so, we piled our luggage into our hired car, and in less than an hour, we were there. We booked an apartment for the duration of our stay. It was a place called Masseria Urbana. Now, masserias are fortified farmhouses, usually on a large estate, or piece of land. In actuality, they were farm complexes, being made up of various buildings, and were especially prevalent in this part of Italy, from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The apartment we had rented was an “urban masseria,” so it was set in the city of Crispiano. As soon as we walked in, I fell in love with the place. It was beautiful, in a very rustic, southern-Italian kind of way!
I loved the fact that there was a string of friselle hanging in the kitchen. Friselle is a twice-baked bread, made from durum wheat, which is extremely popular in Puglia. This is a traditional peasant bread, and was something that most people ate during difficult economic times, due to its long shelf life, and it still eaten today, because it is simply delicious! After being baked, they are usually dipped in water, and then, dressed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. They can also be served as a sort of bruschetta, with chopped tomatoes, olives, or any other condiment on top, but, however you choose to serve them, a dose of good extra virgin olive oil is called for!
All of the ceramic pieces in the apartment were made by the landlord, Marcello, in his studio right next to the apartment.
Of course, it wasn’t long before I was outside, beginning to explore the place that we would make our home, for the next few days.
A monument in the piazza, along the main road into town, honors William Cometa, a young man who lost his life in an accident while at work, at the age of 27.
Next up: We explore more of Crispiano, including the Chiesa Vecchia di Santa Maria!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for posts from many other Italian destinations. Grazie!