Named Locorotondo because of its tondo or circular shape, from afar, this village in the Valley d’Itria will have you walking around in delightful vicious circles–pun intended.
Notice how the name Locorotondo has 5 o’s? Maybe that’s to really drive home the fact that it’s the round, circular village of Puglia! You’ll know Locorotondo is worth visiting just from the drive required to get to the village or paese. As you wind your car through luxuriant vineyards sleeping in the hot sun and traditional trulli houses, Locorotondo emerges. It’s a striking white-washed Italian landscape within this sea of yellow and green. When you visit Locorotondo in the Valle d’Itria, it is vital to let wonder, amazement and surprise guide your steps in this village. In addition to learning more about Locorotondo’s interesting facts and nuances, here’s your guide to the best things to do in Locorotondo.
Where to Stay Near Locorotondo?
1. Pay Attention to Locorotondo’s Architecture
Like much of Puglia, Locorotondo is rich in blindingly white limestone houses and narrow alleyways bedecked in geraniums and citrus plants wound in true Italian style around squares and tiny palm-sheltered courtyards. The limestone paint used in the buildings was said to have warded the plague back in the 1690s, similar to the town of Ostuni. By the time my mother had parked the cark and we’d wandered into the first piazza, I was smitten. Different from Alberobello and Ostuni, the roofs here recall a mix between the two villages. The structures are tall and braced with arched passages with black limestone roofs pitched similar to a trullo. The shapes of the roofs are iconic. They recall what a child might draw when asked to draw a house, a triangle top and square base.
2. Wander the Winding Alleys
You can’t walk into a maze without trying to find its center or heart. In the case of Locorotondo, the heart is the Church of San Giorgio Martire. It’s a gratifying adventure that allows the paese of Locorotondo to hold you in it’s gentle and quiet embrace. Walking through the streets without any impediments, like curbs or fences in America, adds a feeling of communality to the village. There is nothing barbed or prickly in this town (aside from the succulents). There is no apparent demarcation between private and public land. In Italy, the idea of communality is essential to our culture and everyday lives. Without it we’d lose a large part of our identity. And that can be seen in the architecture and layout of our towns and spaces as well.
While walking through the streets of Locorotondo, every curve invites wonder. A peak of sunlight breaking through the tall buildings or an ornate molding draws the eyes. Wandering the streets can be an adventure, if you let it be. Every few steps the view changes as each buttress or arched opening frames a completely new view. So much so that at times, it doesn’t even feel like your in the same village anymore.
3. Eat at a Trattoria
We found a small trattoria, an informal restaurant serving simple, local food. We ate sitting outside in the shade of the cool alleyway and ordered some simple salads. Our gaze was fixed on the cobbled road in front of us. The blazing sunlight turned the window boxes of brilliant red geraniums so bright the contrast was unreal.
4. Visit the Piazza And Walk the Edge of Town
The street suddenly opens into a piazza, where we grab a caffe leccese as a quick pick me up. Once you cross the piazza and make it to through the winding flagstone streets, Locorotondo suddenly opens up to the edge of the town. A steep drop offers spectacular views over the countryside. While Locorotondo is mainly known for its circular structure, it is also secondarily renowned for its wines. Locorotondo’s name is not only given for it’s shape, but for the dry white spumante wine which is a specialty to the area as well.
You can sit at any of the cafes in this area and admire the view on a cool summer day. The reason why some of the pictures look deserted below is because it was a hot day in September! And if there is one thing about Italians, is that on hot summer days they all head for the beach.
>> Next: Trullo a ll’éra: Stay In A Trullo In Puglia, Italy
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