My hotel was perfectly located in the modern part of town but within 5 minutes’ walking distance to the old part of town.
I bought these (inexpensive) pieces which are composed of an alloy of four metals: zinc, aluminium, magnesium and copper covered in silver and nickel.
Craving coffee, I headed into the old town and entered a café. Here’s what I ordered: the speciality coffee that the good people of Lecce drink in hot weather. Called caffè in ghiaccio con latte di mandorla, it’s a mixture of almond milk, almond syrup and espresso poured over ice cubes and then frothed with the espresso machine. It costs two euros. Delizioso! I could drink this all day long.
“Why not add a dollop of mocha gelati?” said one of the laughing baristas, heading for the gelati counter. Why not indeed?Everywhere I went, I encountered smiling faces, generous spirits and joviality. Such a refreshing change from the peevish Parisians. I envisaged myself living here, at least part time. Who can resist their kindness, their divine gelati and their pastries? I can’t!Here’s one of the more popular ice cream and pastry shops situated at the entrance of the old town.
Towards evening, I came across this casual deli-wine bar while wandering the narrow back streets. The Enogastronomia Povero serves up delicious, local dishes. One word of warning however: I chose to eat vegetarian because the origin of meat can be questionable in the south of Italy. That lasagna you’re eating? It could be filled with horse or donkey meat. Vegetable-based dishes – along with fava beans, chick peas, etc. – are in abundance, so non-meat eaters need not feel deprived in any way. Au contraire! I could hardly finish my samplings of aubergine parmigiana, artichoke frittata, ricotta lasagna, potato-rice-courgette-mussel dish and aubergine-mint fritters. Corn bread studded with olives and sun-dried tomatoes was offered in a small basket and the wine was outstanding, a local Negroamaro from the outlying Salento region.
Leaving Povero, I turned right down a narrow backstreet and came across a vintage clothing shop. Walking inside, my eye fell on an attractive leather handbag. “Quanto costa?” I said to the man at the back of the shop. 35 euros was his reply. I handed over 35 euros and he gave me 5 euros back. I’m not quite sure why, but I didn’t argue with him. I was really pleased with my purchase.
Via 47 Reggimento Fanteria, 26
Via 47 Reggimento Fanteria, 12
GASTRONOMIA ENOTECA POVERO
Via Rubichi, 4
Below, click on “onwards to Polignano a Mare” to visit the small, glittering coastal town on the Adriatic coast.