REMOVE just one stone in the conical roof above my head, and the whole house will collapse on me.
I’m staying in a fairytale — almost Smurf — medieval house which was designed to dismantle in seconds . . . to hide it from the taxman. Oh, those canny Italians.
Now, though, the pretty trulli homes of Alberobello, Apulia, are in a Unesco World Heritage site, and I’m lucky enough to be staying in this pretty slice of history.
It’s just one stop on my cycling tour of Puglia, on the heel of boot-shaped Italy.
With more olive trees in this farming region than Italians in Italy, it’s no wonder olive oil is a common theme on my trip.
I visit two masserias, huge fortified country farms built to defend the olive crops. I bathe in it, moisturise with it, sniff it, munch the olives themselves on biscuits and I’m even asked to fall in love with them.
I hug an olive tree that’s 4,000 years old and still producing olives. The owner clearly loves his trees and points out saucy female forms in the tree’s twisting gnarly bark. Page tree, if you like.
I’ll admit it. On this trip I ate more than I cycled. Phew. This is an easy cycling holiday suitable for occasional pedallers like myself.
Which is handy, because Puglians, relatively new to tourism, take delight in over feeding guests, they’re (rightly) so…
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