Tis Returns to Italy! Day 55: The Ladies of Orecchiette Lane
Bari is known for the winding streets of its unique old town, or Bari Vecchia, where one can easily get lost in the most delightful way. Possibly the most famous “attraction” in these twisting streets, is the street that is home to the older ladies of the neighborhood that sit at tables outside their houses and make the local pasta, called “orecchiette”.
Stumbling Upon Orecchiette Lane
When I was hopelessly lost for the third time today, I found myself on “Orecchiette Lane”. Here, on this tiny little back street, the ladies who live here, sit at plastic tables outside their apartments, rolling out fresh pasta in ear-shaped, or “orecchiette”, for which Bari is famous.
The ladies sit out in their street, making pasta to sell and welcoming anyone that comes by. On the wall outside each of their homes, hangs a tourist map that has their street highlighted. There is a note on their maps saying “Sei è qui!” Or “You are Here!”
Fun in The Back Streets
I love these ladies. They have such fun sitting there, making pasta, and warmly greeting anyone that happens to walk down their street.
As I was trying to use one of their maps to find my way, I was having no luck. To explain my extended presence, I said to one of the ladies, “Sempre sono perso!” or “I am always lost!”. What was intended to be a casual, friendly comment, was more of a match struck near a pile of explosives. The whole lane was immediately on a mission to get me back to my apartment. They were yelling across the small street at each other, each with a different idea of how I would most successfully reach my apartment.
While my Italian skills have gotten me around pretty well, when it is being spoken at the speed of light, it is a bit more of a challenge.
As I am sure you can surmise, this did not end in the ladies agreeing on the best way for me to find my home here. Instead, I slipped out and finally recognized a few familiar things that allowed me to find the two brown doors that belong to me. As I was sneaking away, they were still having a passionate debate on my behalf.
Time To Make the Pasta
Next on my list? Buying their pasta and making dinner. Since then, I’ve checked in with some locals and found the best place to get the sauce to use when making the orecchiette. I said I could make the sauce myself and was told I did not want to as it is too difficult. Apparently, I am to go two streets over and look for a guy who sells sauce. That is tomorrow’s task!
Check back on the blog for an update on my search for “the guy two streets over that makes the sauce”.
Ciao for now!