Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Travel Blogging VI

Docked in Monopoli, Italy:  Today is our second day in this port, we leave this afternoon. Yesterday we went to a village nearby which features insane circular houses made of piled stone, called "trulli." See photos of trulli at, the other DrC's blog.

They stack the stones very carefully without mortar and then plaster the interiors to seal the cracks. The roofs are conical and, again, stacked stone with no interior support structure. It doesn't look like it should work but it does. There are hundreds of them, amazing looking things.

We had lunch at a nearby guest farm, one of a series of fortified farms that this region once had, very picturesque with 1000 year old olive trees whose trunks may be 30 ft. in circumference - very gnarled. This place operates as an inn/working farm. Great food, great olive oil too. Much talk about recycling, renewables, and organic this and that, "the message" curated for the "woke," of whom I'm proud not to be one.

Today the truly athletic are hiking to a village where the houses are caves, carved in the soft limestone. It is supposed to be the oldest continuously occupied man-created space on the planet. It's a claim hard to disprove. I passed on that trip, I'm taking a vacation from my vacation.

Later ... I forgot to mention the folklore about why trulli were "invented." Folklore says it was tax avoidance. No house was taxable until completed, so when they heard the taxman was coming they'd take down the conical roof, until he left, whereupon they'd restack it and continue as before.

I call this "folklore" since I don't believe any tax collector was stupid enough to be fooled this way more than once. How could one imagine every house in town was incomplete? Total nonsense, but treated as gospel.