Alberobello, Puglia

Saturday, 21 October 2023

Our excursion today began at lunchtime, so we had a gentle start to the day. The weather didn’t have quite so gentle a start: gusty winds and a scattering of showers.

We were off to visit Alberobello, home to the trulli houses of Puglia. It was a 90 minute journey from the ship with unadvertised entertainment. The guide was having troubles with a faulty microphone, which, when coupled with heavily accented English led to some communication failures. One struggled to hear her and when you did, strange information was being relayed. We were puzzled by references to “The Fish-shops of Rome” until we realised she was talking about Popes: “Bishops of Rome”.  There seemed to be an extensive music scene because of the “CDs” of Puglia until, when named we guessed they were the “Cities”.

We gained very little information but laughed quietly to ourselves often.

Alberobello was quite a disappointment.  For reasons lost in time, we thought it to be a village of trulli houses. It was, except it was surrounded by a shabby-chic town. The trulli enclave on one side of wide touristy boulevard housed the largest collection of souvenir junk shops we’ve encountered in many a long year.  Maybe wrong, but many looked as if recently built to increase the vaguely theme park feel on offer.

The other side of the central, modern restaurant boulevard was largely residential and had a more authentic feel. However, it was purely residential and so all one could do was look at the buildings, with no idea of what was within their walls.

The coach park was a 15 minute walk from the theme park (and back) along a totally uninteresting part of non-trulli Alberobello. As the designate departure time approached, one of the promised short, sharp rain showers arrived… not short, and very sharp. 

Things did improve during phase 2, when we were taken to a local estate to sample local produce. Top class drinks and nibbles in a pleasant (if by now rain-sodden) rural setting.

Back on board by 17:15 with enough experiences to keep conversations going for a long time.