A few observations of Italy!

masseriaWell this is blog is about Italy as you may have worked out. Not like the daily things we did but little observations about people and places amidst our enjoyable week away. Basically there was so much to take in that I wanted to talk about, that I took a trusty notepad about with me.

Firstly, every town had “the best Ice-cream parlour” in the region. For instance, Brindisi had Betty’s, and then there was a place in Lecce, and to be honest, they were both great. Then there was one in the small town near Torchiarolo on the Friday night which was on par too. But hey I love Ice-cream, and they all get the award from me. Let’s just say Owen would have loved it over there. Could have left him eating the stuff in a parlour while we walked about and as long as he had a place to go to the loo, he would have been sorted.

One thing we noticed at the Villa, and as Richard told us was that the Lemon tree’s were at the only 6 weeks or so in the year where ripening stops or slows down. The tree in the yard there, was full of over ripe and falling off lemons, which were rotting, then below all the green ones which would ripen next month. Would have been lovely to have picked a ripe lemon too. One of his other villa’s had an abundance of other fruit tree’s too. Must be lovely to go and pick your variety of fruits and herbs while on holiday. The plum tree at our villa, was done for the year too, so only just missed out on those. And there is no way you would try an Olive straight off the tree. Apparently they taste like Diesel!

Talking about Olive trees, Puglia is the region where a majority of Olive Oil is produced for most of Italy. To explain more read this link I have found http://www.london-unattached.com/2014/08/olive-oil-puglia/ . There is a tree in the centre of Lecce, near the Ampitheatre, which is over 2000 years old and still fruits. It looks like 2 trees but its the one tree that has split and almost turned itself inside out. I think some tree’s are in there prime at 200 years old or so. No wonder when the Romans wanted to punish them, they took it out on the tree’swhich was the only livelihood they had. Apparently a lot of people starved as they had to wait for new tree’s to grow. They also had their wheat confiscated!

Another thing I noticed whilst we were on the road were massive fortified old ruins of farms called Masseria’s. Now if I had the knowledge, time and money to do one up I would. I have attached a picture of one, which I found on Google due to not stopping to get my own picture of one! The idea’s I ould have for one of these would be amazing.

On the way to Matera, we went past a place called Taranto. Now I hav never seen pollution on the roadside like I saw there, anywhere else. Basically like Sheffield you could say, its a very industrial place, but by the sea in their case. They do lots of Steel manufacturing etc, and the sides of the roads were red, with pollution from the processes they used.

As mentioned in past blogs, they drive and walk with the very same attitude. Manic style! You basically have to plough through and do as they do. I am also still nursing my Mosquito bites, which you can still see where they are. It now even looks like I had the TB jab when young too, as was bitten in that part of the arm. I never needed the jab as already have strong antibodies by the way. Genetics are good at times hey.

Something else you don’t see much of in the countryside over there is grazing animals in fields. There ways of farming are so different to the ways of say Yorkshire. In one week, we saw 1 field with a few Horse in, 2 fields of Cows and a handful of Sheep! And this wasn’t even where the land was dense with Olive Groves. Seems we saw more stray Cats and Dogs then animals in fields. I guess this means they also have a different way of viewing what is a pet animal. Some dogs were obviously looked after and left to roam in day. I don’t think you would see our pet Dog’s being that well behaved and chilling in the day wherever they wish before returning home!

Right now we are watching the adventures of our Canadian friends, whose holiday has continued into Germany this week. We both would love to go there now. The Black Forest area looks amazing, and the castles! I could get into travelling alot more if I had the chance.

In the meantime, I think its time to start rediscovering our local area, and catching Autumnal scenes in the Derbyshire and Yorkshire area. I do like Autumn for it’s colours of nature!

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