Alberolello is known for its cone-shaped houses called Trulli. It's a feature of this part of the Puglia region which gained UNESCO recognition as a unique building technique.
The story is that when the King at that time, gave the land to a certain family, he said they could not build anything on the land. Well, of course, that's no good. So it was decided in the family that the buildings would not be permanent and could be easily torn down if the King's inspector came. So they built the buildings out of stones from the area and stacked them up without any mortar. They ended up being conical. People are not living in them anymore because they are dark and hard to ventilate but are using them as shops.
We went into one of the shops. You'll see the picture of the owner - 92 year old lady who has owned her shop for 57 years. They sell whistles made into fanciful shapes - see the pictures of them too. The story here is that the whistle was used by young men to find a bride. When they married, the whistle was blown again. You have to blow it three times to bring good luck and happiness.
Then we went to a Masseria that grows and processes olives into oil. Masseria is a farm with rural buildings particularly in Southern Italy. This family has about 300 olive trees. You'll see the old machinery used to process the olives. Today they use stainless steel high tech machinery. The family also offered us an olive oil tasting. You take a small sip, roll it around to coat your mouth, then breathe in through your teeth. It's very interesting. And if you cough, it means the olive oil is good!! They then served us lunch. OHH MAMA MIA!! Nine appetizers - cheese with pear jam, sausage, eggplant with mortadella and cheese, foccacia, mushrooms on toast, grilled peppers with a mixture of cheese and chichory, I can't even remember all of them. Red wine. Then the pasta dish with boneless pork ribs. Then of course dessert - a great cake layered with cream and jam!!!
After lunch, we went into Monopoli near where our boat is docked. The area was first settled in about 500 BC as a fortified city. The castle of Charles V was finished in 1525 on a promontory to protect the city from invasion. Plus there are 19 churches in the old city. We walked along the old walls and looked out to the sea.
Then, something we haven't seen in a long time, the SUN came out!!!
As we walked but to our bus we saw some fishing boats come in from a long day of fishing. We took pictures of some of their catch.