the white city – ostunipuglia 2015 – 4th entry

OstuniThis morning we went to the open-market in Martina Franca. It had a huge number of clothing vendors and in the back were the fruits and vegetables. (The images of the yellow grapes and the peaches in the slide-show are from the market.)

In the afternoon, we drove to Ostuni. It’s considered one of the five white cities of Puglia. The designation comes from the fact that all the houses are painted white. This tradition is a leftover from the time of the plague, when the inhabitants noticed that there was less contagion in and around the white-houses. This most likely was because of the antibacterial effects of the calcium carbonate – the mixture of limestone dust and water that they used as paint. Today, the white-houses attract the tourists and the local government encourages everyone to repaint every two years by paying half the cost.

The bell-tower is one of the few structures to sit above the roof-line of the old town.

In all the years that we’ve been coming to Italy, this is the first time that we’ve had cold weather. Here we are in a renovated trulli with a pool and haven’t been able to use it yet. But starting Saturday, the weather is back to hot.