Puglia Secrets: 5 curiosities or oddities you may not know about Puglia

by | Sep 25, 2021 | Apulian News

ostuni white city

From the Puglia Secrets project here are 5 secrets of the region that no one has ever told you about

We live in a wonderful country that every day gives us wonderful visions and enchants us, like a beautiful spell. Because it is precisely at the moment when we think we know everything about our territory that we actually realize that new secrets and mysteries are hiding around the corners, waiting to be revealed.

And it is from this awareness that the project Puglia Secrets was born, to discover a region that is already enchanting in itself, as no one has ever told it starting from the materials used to build the Trulli, precious heritage of the region, to discover the enchanted secrets of what is known as the white city. Let’s discover together 5 curiosities about Puglia that maybe no one has told you.

Ostuni: why it is called White City

The trulli of Alberobello and that trick to deceive the King

The Two Sisters

The Bauxite Lake

The sauce and the slipper

Ostuni: why it is called White City

Let’s start with the White City, a charming and sunny town in Puglia characterized by white buildings. An artistic touch? No, the inhabitants of Ostuni decided to paint the houses in this color so that the sunlight, reflected on the walls, would blind enemies intent on attacking the city. Even after the end of the wars, the houses remained white: lime, the material used for construction, has a strong disinfectant power which the inhabitants enjoyed during the famines.

ostuni white city

The Trulli of Alberobello and that ploy to fool the King

We move to the small town of Alberobello, a few kilometers from Bari. Here these characteristic conical shaped buildings prop up the whole town, bringing millions of tourists to the area every year to admire the wonderful Trulli. These buildings, cute and cozy, built dry and without mortar, were the homes of farmers, and it is to them that we owe the birth of what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During the Aragonese period, in fact, the Kingdom of Naples was subject to the Prammatica de Baronibus, a law that provided for the payment of taxes for each urban settlement. For this reason was born the idea of precarious buildings, easily removable, which today we would describe with the name of abusive houses.

alberobello trulli

The Two Sisters

In the province of Lecce, in one of the most appreciated and frequented seaside resorts of Salento, stand out in the blue and crystal clear sea two very similar and close rocks known as Le Due Sorelle dispersed in the sea. The name, evocative in itself, actually finds its explanation in a local legend which tells about the tragic drowning of two sisters from the cliff of Torre dell’Orso. It is said that the gods, out of compassion, decided to save them by turning them into two big stacks.

two sister

The Bauxite Lake

A hidden treasure that needs no introduction. It is a spectacle of nature jealously guarded by the hinterland of Otranto. What appears today as a beautiful little lake with emerald green shades is actually the residue of a mining deposit in operation from about 1940 until 1976.

bauxite lake

The sauce and the Scarpetta

Anyone with southern roots knows that after a sauce-based dish, it must be “cleaned up” with bread. Although this practice at the table is completely banned by the Galateo, it is a tradition that is hard to die. But do you know its origin?

According to some the name “scarpetta” (little shoe) derives from the shape of the piece of bread held between the fingers or on the fork and that, just like the shoe collects what is in the street, bread collects all the sauce left in the plate. Others refer the term to the word “scarpetta” which in dialect indicates poverty, this gesture, in fact, was done in the past in order to satiate oneself as much as possible in case due to lack of resources it was not possible to guarantee the next meal.

scarpetta puglia