Visiting farms – part two

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Always in the countryside of Putignano, do not miss a visit to the Masseria Madonna delle Grazie (Contrada Mastricale, 39 – Putignano, visit by appointment by calling the owners of the farm +39 333 7040757 – +39 333 3108636 – +39 080 69700049 – irmafiume@gmail .com), one of the most important in the area for two reasons. The first is the iazzo of considerable size formed by an inner part and an outer part. The areas covered are divided into “spenne”, the buildings for the housing of animals in winter, “mungituro” small room for milking with two doors for entry and exit of the animals, “casone” for operations of the preparation of dairy products and “casolare”, fresh and aerated, for the conservation of the cheese. The outdoor area consists of the “corti”, dry stone fences for the shelter in the summer, the “piscina”, collector of water carved into the rock, and “pile”, the stone basins for watering of the animals.


The second interesting reason to visit this farm is adjacent to the same there is a cave where is venerated Madonna delle Grazie, a place of pilgrimage of the inhabitants of the whole area and the center of a rural festival very much felt that they celebrate the fourth Sunday May. The cave is accessed down a staircase that leads in a rectangular shape with an irregular vault. At the bottom it is placed the high altar with a niche that houses the colorful statue of Madonna delle Grazie with her Child. Two tall columns at the sides argue votive lamps while under the altar there is the coat of arms of the family De Miccolis who probably built the farm. Noteworthy also are the stone altar and the fresco of the Madonna and Child on the right wall as points out to us Professor Teresa Pesce, now owner of the farm, who kindly with his daughter Irma Fiume take us during the visit. And she invites us to discover another curiosity: behind the central altar there is a large room with natural ravines and residues of masonry in which popular imagination has always seen an oven with stones shaped loaves.

The agricultural tradition is still alive even in the area of Fasano and Monopoli, where are lots of farms that still produces olive oil and cheese. An obligatory stop to taste delicious mozzarella of Caseificio Lamapecora (Contrada Fascianello, 30 – Fasano, +39 080 4420843 – +39 347 9831168 – taurogiovanni1986@gmail.com) produced using only milk from cows raised on the farm. Moving in the San Paolo district, in the countryside between Martina Franca and Taranto, it is the Azienda Zootecnica Amatulli (Contrada San Paolo, Martina Franca, +39 080 4490535): here too dairy and fresh and aged cheeses to smack your’s lips. While, a little further on, on the old road leading to Taranto, nestled in the woods of centenarians oaks called Fragni there is Masseria Monti Basile (Via Taranto Area F 1011, Martina Franca, +39 080 4490281) in which the family Simeone breeds 800 goats and 70 Murgesi horses, plus a nice little family of donkeys of Martina Franca. Our advice? To buy up cacioricotta that put in vacuum packed can be eaten, alone or grated over pasta, even when the scents of the summer season will be long gone by allowing us to smell them again on our tables.