Seen from the valley, along the road to Martina Franca, Locorotondo seems a thin crown of stone that stands on a hill bordered by a rich embroidery of dry stone walls. Like a wall, the facades of buildings and houses “a cummersa” characteristics of the whole area but here numerous. The village is dominated by the dome of the Mother Church dedicated to St. George the Martyr, which stands above the white curtain of houses.
Entering the heart of the country by the tall buildings and narrow, medieval center with its concentric streets reveals baroque architecture with bulging wrought iron balconies, large portals with bosses geometric and still frames, badges and decorations that the ancient city nobility had built in during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Most interesting are a step away from the Mother Church which houses the large painting of St. George on the apse behind the main altar in polychrome marbles invoice Neapolitan, while in the two niches on the sides of modern (the whole presbytery has changed over the years `70) there are, in one, a wooden statue of St. George the Martyr, and in the other, a number of ancient relics.
Remarkable is the church of Santa Maria della Greca, of Gothic style, made presumably built by Pirro del Balzo Prince of Taranto in 1480. It has a basilica with three naves and features a rose in front of the facade that is very simple, gabled with sloping sides. The present rose is a recent work (1981) of the master locorotondese Domenico Rosato, modeled on that of the cathedral of Acquaviva delle Fonti. In addition to the wealth of motifs present on the capitals, the church keeps inside a valuable example of Renaissance sculpture, the Altarpiece of the central altar dedicated to Our Lady of the Roses with images of Saint Lucia, Saint Peter, Madonna and Child, St. Paul and St. Horace or St. Donato. Equally precious and beautiful bas-relief of the Deposition in the Sepulchre .
To visit the lovely little town a guide can be useful not to lose the most hidden corner , but do not forget to let yourselves be led by instinct and also from the case, just so you can savor the pleasure of discovering its more secret atmosphere. And it is even better to do it now, when the bright red Christmas decorations contrasts cheerful and festive with the white lime walls of the narrow streets of the old town festively decorated with balconies and portals.
Cookery speaking the word of tradition, without overlooking any digression of moderate revisiting in the restaurant Bina (via Dr. Recchia , 44-50 – tel : +39 080 4311784 – +39 345.4921863 – email : firstname.lastname@example.org). Rooms by cross vaults, where you are greeted with great warmth by Nino, while Bina is in the kitchen, go back to the ‘700 and are made warm and bright by touches of subtle design of lamps and colored ceramics of white butter that recall the tradition in an elegant atmosphere that puts you at ease after a few minutes, thanks to the background music, you can feel like home. After sight and hearing can be given the right space at the taste beginning with a welcome of home: a cup of hot delicious and fragrant fried meatballs immediately paired with a great Susumaniello in purity, “Verso Sud” by the local winery I Pàstini, from exceptional value for money and set in an indigenous variety of Brindisi probably imported in ancient times from the nearby Dalmatian.
We are ready for the Piatto Gourmet composed by Capocollo “Slow Food” from Martina Franca, pork lard, sweet and spicy salami by Santoro Salumificio; caciocavallo and pecorino canestrato; fried codfish, small leeks flan and ricotta soufflé. That leaves the field to spaghetti carbonara with capocollo from Martina Franca, red onion from Acquaviva and aged caciocavallo cheese: an example of harmony between flavors net and decided. As a second welcome the advice of Nino that offers us a lamb chops with bread crumbs, local spicies, red onion from Acquaviva, sautéed chicory and raisins. Before dessert, given the obligatory anniversary celebrated my birthday and that is represented by a soft tiramisu with a candle, a small dish of fennel tender and tasty, one of the pearls that only the soil between the plain of Fasano and the sea knows to produce. And that reveal the origin of Nino and Bina, by Fasano but now present in Locorotondo for many years, representing one of the lights of the finest local restaurants. There comes a time to say goodbye, time flew. In the dining room appears Bina to which we owed the compliments and we go away but not before another treat to savor, the liquor-produced with laurel leaves rigorously collected in the area of district of Cocolicchio, because – as Nino reveals to us – are the most fragrant of all the Valle d’Itria.