Locorotondo, the heart of the Itria Valley

As its name suggests, Locorotondo is a small village with a rounded plant. Candid like the sisters Alberobello, Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca, seen from above it looks like a button of mother of pearl that whitens in the green of Val D’Itria and its vineyards.

We are in Puglia, in the southern part of the Murge plateau, an area known mainly for its limestone formations, tuffs and rugged vegetation. Here an extraordinary paleontological discovery has been made with the discovery of the Man of Altamura, which has provided valuable evidence of the millennial bond between man and this territory. 

Among the streets of Locorotondo

Inside the village, while walking with your nose up, captured by the beauty of certain flowered balconies, you may feel confused: are you in a small town in Northern Europe or in the deep Italian south? The cummerse, the typical houses of Lorotondo, have in fact all the sloping roof and rise above white white buildings, arranged in a circle around the center of the village. There are many characteristic views and viewpoints to photograph, especially when the sun sets and turns on the white walls of a color that surrounds the visitor as in an embrace. 

Do not miss the Templar Staircase, which allows you to skirt the village passing through the vineyards, the Morelli Palace, a stately residence dating back to the eighteenth century decorated with beautiful frescoes and the Mother Church of San Giorgio. Among the places of worship it is worth visiting the Church of Santa Maria la Greca, which has on the facade a modern rose window with a very rich appearance that contrasts with the ancient and simple style of the building.

The Clock Tower, built in the eighteenth century, in the past served as a university, while today it houses the Historical Archives of the city of Locorotondo and the Center for Archaeological Documentation on the Neolithic Settlement Grofoleo.

Do not forget to go through Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and get informed about the panoramic terrace, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Itria Valley, with the cities of Martina Franca and Cisternino that stand out on the horizon.

And since the trulli of Alberobello are just 10 minutes away by car you may want to visit some: the oldest in the region (dated 1509) is right here, in the district of Marziolla, but being on a private property can only be visited by reservation.

Foto : Unsplash

The surroundings of Locorotondo

Outside the village there are about 150 districts or agglomerations of trulli that develop around a common area called “jazzéle”.

Since Alberobello, Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca are located a short distance from Locorotondo the opportunity could be greedy to discover the most beautiful Puglia, driving or cycling and getting lost among dry stone walls and olive groves.

On the Adriatic coast you can discover beautiful sandy beaches and small bays lapped by a clear sea, all located a short distance from Locorotondo, as well as the Natural Park of the Coastal Dunes, characterized by a vast expanse of light sand surrounded by high dunes covered with age-old junipers.

If you like the idea of a pleasant picnic in the countryside you could go to the Bosco delle Pianelle, in the municipality of Martina Franca: it covers an area of 1200 hectares and offers an unspoilt natural environment.

Locorotondo in the plate

In the trattoria and restaurant you will find, for example, the “ciallédde”, a poor dish made with stale bread and vegetable products, or the “ciceri e tria”, a type of homemade pasta with wheat flour accompanied by chickpeas.

In the spring menus is ubiquitous macco with vegetables, a delicious white bean puree accompanied by chicory, chicory and dandelion. If you have only tasted them outside Puglia, you should definitely dive into a dish of authentic orecchiette with turnip tops.

For lovers of stronger flavors there is lamb meat. The “gnumerèdde suffuchète” consist of rolls of lamb entrails wrapped in tripe: prepared with care and patience, they are stewed for a long time with tomato, pecorino cheese and aromas.

The meat on the stove of Locorotondo, however, is distinguished by its tenderness and enveloping flavor. Here the lamb is cooked in the oven, slowly, until the juicy juices are mixed with spices and aromas.

Among other delicacies is worth mentioning the omelette of lampascioni, enriched with wild onion typical of the area, donkey meat, the capocollo of Martina Franca -which is Presidio Slow Food- and fresh cheeses such as ricotta, burrate and caciotta, usually served together with focaccia, frise, frittelle and taralli.

Among the local wines to taste try Verdeca and Bianco d’Alessano, both delicate whites and very appreciated for their ability to enhance the flavors of Puglia.

Autore : Eleonora Di Mauro

Copertina: unsplash

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