As soon as I learnt that a trullo (plural: trulli) was a thing, I decided that I wanted to stay in one. These gorgeous limestone houses are unique to a certain region of Puglia, and are built with cylindrical bases, conical roofs and beautiful spires on top, in all-white e’rything.
We found one with availability (and an infinity pool!) in a rural area located a short drive from Ostuni; a typical Puglian city nicknamed Città Bianca, because of its predominantly whitewashed buildings.
As we drove through the countryside from the airport to our accommodation, we could see the spires of the region’s trulli peeping at us over the trees and hills. I’m not sure if it’s acceptable to describe a house as such, but they were the cutest little houses I’ve ever seen, and I squealed with delight as more came into sight.
We arrived at our trullo early in the evening, as the sky began to clear following a big storm that afternoon. As we pulled into the driveway, we were greeted by four or five kittens and their human mother, Anna, who gave us a tour of the property. Surrounded by olive trees, lavender bushes, prickly pears and rolling countryside, it seemed like a great place to unwind and switch off.
We woke up the next morning to some sunshine, and with a less-than-perfect weekly weather forecast looming, we wanted to make the most of the clear skies while we could. I put together an amazing breakfast, which included a ball of burrata (my favourite Puglian specialty), drizzled with the olive oil that Anna and her husband make themselves using the olives from their own trees.
We spent the whole morning in or next to the pool, soaking up the sunshine. For lunch, we drove to a nearby supermarket, which was filled with some of the best and most unusual local produce. I love shopping in foreign supermarkets and find it so much fun picking out food and trying new things. You’ve really got to embrace whatever ingredients are in season or popular in the region, and try to eat like a local!
We stocked up on loads of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, seafood and local wine, and headed back to the trullo to put together a lunch spread. Opening up a bottle of my new favourite wine, rosato frizzante, we settled into our deckchairs by the pool, with lots of reading material to hand.
I was really intrigued by the prickly pears and – having not packed my thorn-proof gardening gloves for my beach holiday – opted to buy some at the supermarket rather than pick them from the trees. The flesh of the fruit is a beautiful fuchsia colour and they’re really sweet to eat. The texture of the seeds reminded me of passionfruit.
Although the pears had been scrubbed and de-thorned before going on the supermarket shelf, I still managed to get tiny little hairlike thorns stuck in my hands when cutting them open, and they were such tiny, evil things that I spent forever picking out of my fingers.
For dinner, not wanting to venture out again, I marinated some tuna steak and octopus and we had a seafood feast.
We finished our dinner with icy limoncello – a tradition we kept up for the whole holiday – and I cuddled up to my new furry friends (it took Ross a little longer to warm up to them).