Locorotondo is another pearl in the sea of white-houses in Puglia. Like Alberobello this paesino (extremely little town) has its own style of houses. Trulli disappear here and they are substituted for cummerse. These are narrow rectangular dwellings with pointed gable roofs. Not the houses but the town’s plan gives the name to Locorotondo (i.e. “rotund”or “roundish”). The tiny settlement is a commune in the province of Bari. It’s situated on a hill which dominates the imposing valle d’Itria (the Itria Valley) in south-east Murgia.
L O C O R O T O N D O
Lotcorotondo borders with Fasano, Martina Franca and Alberobello. The origins of the town date back to around 1000 AD. Later it was extended around the cult to St George the Martyr who made a miracle to the town. Famous families and dukes from nearby Martina Franca and other bigger and more powerful towns as well as feudal lords had presence in Locorotondo until the 19th century.
The economy of the town is based mainly on agribusiness and more precisely on the production of wine and grapes. Nearby vineyards encompass an area of 1650 hectares. The town and its surroundings produce fine wines as well as Spumante style wines and they are among the most renown in the region of Apulia. That’s why Locorotondo is often nicknamed as the Wine Town of Puglia. Apart from this, the tiny settlement is famous for its gastronomy. Locals and tourists alike indulge in home-made fruit jams as well as delicious meals like the popular succulent rolls of entrails which are called “gnummeredd”.
Tourism is also developed but not so much as in nearby Alberbello. Getting off from the regional train at the small railway station in Locorotondo, for sure, you will want to visit il centro storico (the historic centre). No worries. After a 15-minute walk through the new parts of the town and after a climbing of a hill you will reach the pretty labyrinth and maze of white houses and white vicoli (alleys) that are carefully guarded by local people like it happens in any of le città bianche.
If you happen to visit the town on a rainy day, you will not see the beauty of Locorotondo so much but I can assure you that the mysterious view of the Itria Valley with its vineyards and trulli here and there, will amaze you. On such days, you won’t see many people in the streets but for sure, you might have a pleasant short talk with a local who will offer you his help and as a gentle Italian will ask you “apropos, why such a beautiful lady is alone and where her husband is ” 😉 If your humble answer is that “as a matter of fact, you don’t need such a guy right now and moreover, you’re against marriage as an institution”, he will get surprised at the first moment but next moment he will start smiling and even laughing. 🙂 In the end, your short conversation with this local guy will end with a wink and the following statement from his side: “Allora, cara, you could change your mind in Locorotondo. Why not your Prince to wait for you namely here?” 😉
There is no doubt that this reply will brighten up your rainy day (or even change your life in future 😀 Who knows ….? 😉 ). If your mood has bettered you can continue your exploration of the town under the rain. Don’t be afraid of taking any of the white alleys and of getting lost in this labyrinth. It’s the most amazing feeling and memory you can grab and keep in future, i.e. to wander here and there not knowing where a certain alley will take to. While exploring the “white maze”, you will be surely astonished with the three churches (Mother Church of “St George the Martyr”, the church of “San Rocco” and the Church of “Our Lady of Greece”) and Locorotondo’s typical houses called cummerse.