Returning to Ruffano made us pick up the thread from where we left off. In fact, we had told you about the town and how the amount of stately buildings and churches in its historic center had surprised us.
And we had closed the post with a promise (read here): to return to the village to spend an evening at the Farmacia dei Sani to meet Fabio and Roberto in person and taste the delicacies prepared by Valentina.
After three years we managed to keep our promise and to knot the thread thanks to the exquisite hospitality of Pamela Maglie who welcomed us in her delicious Suite Il Glicine in the historic center of Ruffano (which we talk about in #Sognidoro). It was also an opportunity to review Maria Luisa Giorgetti who hosted us in her Agriturismo Spirdo giving us the opportunity to discover Ruffano, a village that until then had “escaped” from our Salento tours.
As we promised, we found ourselves at dinner all together including Otto at the Farmacia dei Sani, which is so called because here once, next to these rooms with beautiful stone barrel vaults that housed the stables of the palace, there was the pharmacy of the country. The restaurant, started as a typical tavern with mother Ada in the kitchen, is now a modern and intriguing restaurant run by the three Rizzo brothers.
And this is noticeable from the outside where the installations stand out in a bright green color that welcome guests. Called Maria and Coco are the work of Pamela Maglie, such as the site specific installation entitled “Cum-servare” which hangs from the ceiling in the large internal room, the dishes all different, the flowers and the ceramic markers on the tables, on which there is the logo of the restaurant, also replicated on the label of the house wine, Primitivo Russu.
In the same green of external installations and flowers inside, the design of the pharmacy cross and the typical design of the typical tablecloth of the trattorias resume, but also and above all the + sign that refers to the idea of a sum of positive values. And it struck me that on the menu, among the various mandatory recommendations in Covid19 times, there is also that of being optimistic.
And this immediately made the owners nice to me even before I met them, hidden by the black masks of the ordinance: Fabio to preside over the interior and Roberto to do the honors from house to room.
We can say a lot about Valentina, but not everything. Her dishes certainly speak for her but we have not had the opportunity to meet her in person, given her commitment in the kitchen with the tables of the restaurant’s external courtyard all booked.
On the table together with the Russu wine came the greedy and scenographic welcome, a reinterpretation of the “cecamariti”, a poor dish of the Salento tradition typical of the Torrepaduli area which consists of a fried dough of water and flour with vegetables, and of barley waffles with delicious green olive and peanut sauces, served on a bed of barley grains.
We couldn’t help ordering what is considered the “historic” dish of Farmacia dei Sani, a strong and tasty first course, with strong ingredients: spaghettoni with anchovies, pistachios and candied lemon.
Then we wanted to contrast the calibrated flavor of this proposal with one of the desserts offered on paper based on barley coffee, caramelized banana and mandarin. The only discordant note? At the table it would have been nice to chat, as well as to toast at our meeting and our first dinner together at the Farmacia, but the contemporary inauguration with live music of the bar in the same square compromised this part of the evening that we ended with a walk in the ancient village of Ruffano and with the intention of returning to enjoy another dinner in peace soon.
Having more time to spend in the area has allowed us this time to appreciate how Ruffano represents the ideal starting point both for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the Cape land, as this area of Salento is defined, and for those who want to choose every day a different sea to dive into.
In fact, Ruffano is located in the center of an ideal triangle, equidistant or almost from attractive locations. Those who prefer the fresh Adriatic breezes in a short time can reach the Marine of Diso and Andrano, as we did choosing to spend the part of the day dedicated to the sea at Lido Cochabamba which has the plus of being dog friendly and which has welcomed our Otto too warmly.
In a few minutes you are also in the presence of the crystal clear sea of the Ionian coast and in half an hour you are in Leuca for a dip where the two seas embrace each other.
For those who want to turn after the sea, nearby are Gallipoli on one side and Castro and Tricase on the other: the first is extroverted and lively, the others more shy and reserved, they are pearls of Salento with an indisputable beauty that must be visited.