Tis Returns to Italy! Day 75: Random Fun in Ostuni
A quiet day trip to Ostuni…with an impromptu party at the end.
Today at noon, after getting some work done, I met Sarah, my new friend who had been out celebrating with me last night in Lecce. We reviewed last night’s debauchery over tea and discussed options for the afternoon. I suggested we take a day trip to nearby Ostuni. We could explore this popular tourist destination in the quiet of the off-season.
Tourist Destination or Ghost Town?
When we arrived, the station looked like it belonged in a remote village instead of a popular tourist destination. To reach the town center, we had to either walk half an hour into town or wait for the bus scheduled to leave in another 50 minutes.
Sarah and I wandered around the parking lot, trying to decide if we would be better off jumping back on the train and exploring nearby Brindisi instead.
As we contemplated our options, we saw several tractors ride through the parking lot. I stuck my thumb up, trying to hitchhike. I was only half-joking. After all, it has to be safe. Tractors don’t go that fast and we could easily jump off if things went south. One cute farmer offered us a ride. Unfortunately, we had just located the number for a taxi and Vincenzo was on his way.
As we waited for Vincenzo’s imminent arrival, we made three new friends including a man from Boston and a couple from the Czech Republic. All were trying to make their way into the city so we invited them to join us in Vincenzo’s van and split the fare. When the van arrived we all masked up and jumped in for the short trip into town.
Rock the Casbah
By the time we arrived in the center of Ostuni, the afternoon siesta was imminent, meaning many things were closing. Of the two or three choices we had for lunch, we picked a place called the Casbah. It had a nice outdoor terrace and a couple of attractive male waiters making it the perfect choice.
After a much-needed non-pasta/pizza lunch of salads complete with nice views of hot waiters, we headed up into the hill town. It was quite small, perfect for our low energy level. We wandered through the old town, visiting the Ostuni Cathedral and walking under the “Arco Scoppa”, a beautiful 17th-century arch. It reminded me of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, albeit a little less polished in appearance.
After seeing the old town, we stumbled upon a cute cafe on a side street. We relaxed in comfy chairs outside and enjoyed a lovely glass of local red. A lazy day in Ostuni was just what we both needed.
Party at the Train Station
Reluctantly we called Vincenzo to take us away from this idyllic little town and back to the station. When we arrived, we discovered the train was over half an hour late.
We headed to the bar inside the station for a beer and some people watching. Train station bars are fabulous places for people-watching. Immediately, we began making friends.
Our first new friend was a local guy who sells jewelry in the streets. After exhausting his sales pitch, he grabbed a drink and joined us at the bar. Next, we added an English guy to our group who was also traveling around. He and Sarah recognized each other from another town they had both visited last week. Soon the guy working at the bar gave up on his cleaning and joined in.
What was a quiet little spot when we arrived was now a lively bar!
The Perfect Day
Finally, the party died down as the jewelry seller headed home, the English guy left to catch his train, followed by Sarah and me a few minutes later. A last-minute day trip turned out to be the perfect day!
Ciao for now!