Date: 23-24th August 2018
Travelled: Around Cisternino, Italy.
Visited: Cisternino, Alberobello, Grotte di Castellana, Locorotondo, Martina Franka all in Puglia.
Stayed: Cisternino municipal sosta, free with services. N40.74423, E17.42740
Budget: 82 days @ €99 per day.
After our late move to Cisternino yesterday evening we enjoyed a good sleep other than 10 minutes of load music at 2.30am, such are the joys of wildcamping in a free sosta. Whilst we look over the road atlas and the Lonely Planet this morning we decide Cisiternino will make a good base for a few days. This area of Puglia is known as the Valle d’Itria. Set between the Adriatic and Ionian coasts the Valle is a great limestone plateau riddled with ridges, holes and ravines. It is also trulli country, a trulli is the traditional circular stone house with a cone shaped roof also made of stone.
The guide recommends a visit to the four larger towns, Cisternino, Alberobello, Locorontondo and Martina Franka. It states the cave at Grotte di Catellana are worth visiting if you are in the area.
So we start our first adventure on the hill above the sosta in Cisternino.
We found the old centro of Cisternino one of the most beautiful we have seen to date. Anyway we get the Hymer going for Alberobello (20 klms away) and our next hill top town.
We arrive in Alberobello to find it only has one dedicated motorhome parking place a sosta for €10 for 24 hours, but as we only plan a couple of hours it’s a bit rich for our blood. So we drive over to the industrial area, park for free and walk back the 3-400 metres.
So we drive on to Grotte di Castellana, about another 20 klms north-west. We arrive to find a car-park as big as Disney Land and its full ! It’s still school holidays so families are out looking for stuff to do.
We return to the Hymer to the sosta in Cisternino as the sun settles. Other than Pam insisting on a gelato after dinner it was a very quiet evening after a long day in the Valle d’Itria.
Tomorrow is another day and our planned visits to Locorotondo and Martina Franca are much closer at about 10 klms away, so we unload the scooter and take to the road.
We scooter out of Locorotondo for Martina Franka less than 8 klms away. Martina Franka is a larger town than the others we have visited. Similarly though, it has a historic centre on top of the hill.
So we walk back up to our starting point and the Picasso Exhibition, which is only small, but it was only €5pp. No photos, but I snuck a couple.
That’s Martina Franca, we lunch in a little cafe on the Piazza Ducale before taking the scooter back to Cisternino. Back safely we pack the scooter away for an early departure. We are joined by several more motorhomes by dinner time, which is 9pm for Italians.
Just a passing comment. We were chatting today about the restuarant and cafe food in Italy. Since returning from Malta we have seen nothing on offer but panini, pizza and pasta that’s it. Not a single place offering some foreign influence in their food. Mind you the gelato is good.