Gallipoli - rain, castles and mystical stones

Gallipoli Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 8 › view all entries
The sun broke through on the afternoon's ride.

We left friends and special places in Leuca, but Sunday morning we headed off once more, riding up the Ionian coast. The sky had changed an spotless summery blue to a gray, humid one full of menacing clouds that threatened to burst at any moment. As we pedaled away from Leuca, feathered bolts of lightning flashed across the sky. The wind began to blow wildly, and every second the sky seemed ready to pour rain. Whizzing past San Gregorio we got a few drops, but moved out of the storm’s range again. Right before Torre San Giovanni I was almost sure we were going to get it. But fortune and the biking gods were on our side, and we kept just ahead of the storm until it blew back down to Leuca where it broke and drenched the city. We made it to Gallipoli unscathed.

Our trulli-complex with a shaded lunch area.
 

Gallipoli, rain or shine, is a welcoming town of old fishermen, castles built into the sea, and a fancy new boulevard leading up to it all. I like to take people in the back way, so instead of riding up the crowded boulevard full of cars, motorcycles, strollers, pedestrians, supermarkets and luxury shops, we rode along the water which, after passing 3 kilometers of hopping beaches, gives way to Gallipoli’s still-active port, where fishermen pull up their boats, unload the day’s catch onto three-wheeled Ape’s and take them to the open market right across the street at the bridge entrance to the old city.

The travelers kept exclaiming that every place I'd arranged for us to stay was even more impressive than the last. Sunday evening we slept in another special and unusual place. Ever since leaving Lecce the week before, we had been noticing these strange, beehive-shaped stone huts dotting the landscape. Nobody knew how long they’d been there- they are still rebuilt today, but rumor has it the first ones were erected along with the prehistoric menihr and dolmen by the Messapian tribes who were contemporaries with the ancient Greeks and the Etruscans! These mortarless stone houses are found all over the countryside; many are used by farmers to store agricultural implements; and others are impeccably refurbished- with doors, windows, plumbing and electricity- for modern living. Amidst the olive orchards just outside Gallipoli, not far from a great restaurant, is a collection of three of these small huts with a lattice shade between them.

Gallipoli: the bay and the old buildings & walls built right into it.
The owner- astologer, farmer and fisherman Ennio- explaining the history of these stones detailed the healing power of an actual dolmen built into the wall of the (now) bathroom. The middle hut, he continued, was built in the 6th century. This hut-complex was where we slept.

These unusual structures are called pajare around Leuca, furneddrihe around Gallipoli, lamie near Ostuni and trulli near Alberobello.

Other than exploring our new surrounding, we had a great barbeque and drank wine with the owner’s son, the winemaker himself, and chatted late into the night.

LaurasAdventures says:
giardini raimondi it was called. have a blast!
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013
pgalland says:
Will you share the name of th restaurant near the furneddrihe where you stayed outside of Gallipoli? I'm loving your travelogue - will be visiting Puglia in May for two weeks.
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The sun broke through on the after…
The sun broke through on the afte…
A fisherman tying his line at the …
A fisherman tying his line at the…
Our trulli-complex with a shaded l…
Our trulli-complex with a shaded …
Gallipoli: the bay and the old bui…
Gallipoli: the bay and the old bu…
Sunset falls on the bay of Gallipo…
Sunset falls on the bay of Gallip…
An old pharmacy in the city center…
An old pharmacy in the city cente…
A vendor selling pants in the old …
A vendor selling pants in the old…
The outdoor pizza oven/barbeque pi…
The outdoor pizza oven/barbeque p…
Annie riding up the coast!
Annie riding up the coast!
A couple fising at sunset along th…
A couple fising at sunset along t…
Catching the last few rays of sun.
Catching the last few rays of sun.
Lets go swimming!
Let's go swimming!
Lunch on the walls? The city is on…
Lunch on the walls? The city is o…
Gallipoli
photo by: faisal2702