Trulli are typical of the region, circular limestone buildings with a conical roof, each slightly different, kind of resembling a Moor's turban from an Aladdin film. They are dotted around the area, and come in different levels from basic to luxury. Rent one near Ostuni (The White City), only about 10km from the crystal Adriatic, visit different villages for dinner every night from Locorotondo (great outdoor club called Mavu) to a meat feast at Ceglie Messapica, or passegiata at Martina Franca. But maybe best of all is to go to the market in the morning to buy fresh Buratta, Altamura bread, Primitivo wine and orechiette. I'm dreaming again ...
This little taverna is hidden away down the back of the cathedral, on one of the tiny white wash streets. All that is visible on the street is a sign and gateway, with steep steps leading down into the dark.
My mother and I had the most fantastic meal here that we've ever had in Italy in the eight years we've been visiting.
With only three choices for a primo course (and no English!) we made our pick and had an amazing meal of wild boar ragu, and black rice with spinach.
Drinks were served in homely terracotta mugs and jugs.
Dessert was a delicious pannacotta with chocolate sauce, so delicate and artistically dressed with sugar flowers.
The only down side (for my mum) was that they were unable to serve coffee as they did not have a coffee machine, but that may have changed now - being as we visited in 2009.
Prices were reasonable, and the location was stunning - the taverna is perched on descending steep steps, with white washed terraces and flowers in full bloom.
We knew we were on to a winner when the placed filled with Italian customers and locals.
A fantastic location, in a beautiful city, with amazing food!
Ostuni is a city of white buildings on a hill that looks stunning as you see if from afar and as you drive up the winding roads to get to it. It has wonderful views to the sea peeking between those pale, seemingly ancient buildings. Ostuni is an Italian town that does not seem to cater to foreign tourists so there are plenty of opportunities to practice Italian. If you have children, they are your best passport in restaurants where they will get smiles from servers and special suggestions about what to eat on the menu. Wonderful tasting food at very reasonable prices. Just be aware that if you are early eaters, your selection of restaurants may be limited as Mediterranean hours are kept. There is a town centre park with play area and small cafe for that much needed coffee, for you and gelato for the kids. If you really want to experience Italy as the Italians do, Ostuni, in Puglia, is a solid base from which to experience Italia with the family and for less Euros than more popular Italian destinations.
Google map: bit.ly/OMY1dQ
Gran Caffe Tito Schipa - a cross between a gelataria, cafe and traditional Puglian family home of sisters Rosa and Annamaria.
We stopped by on recommendation from the owner of our palazzo, and were instantly treated to homemade orichiette on the terrace, deadly-strength G&Ts and straw-coloured homemade wine.
Rosa drove us out to see the Puglian coast and Alberobello and invited us to eat with her Italian family and friends repeatedly. First-class truly Italian experience, warm, hospitable and stunning food.
Gran Caffè Tito Schipa Caffè
Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 19-21 72017 Ostuni +393283250470
Google map: bit.ly/OmzZaG
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