After our tour with Tim, we understood the layout of the town and struck out on our own. One narrow passageway led to another, so we simply wandered, letting the spiraling streets unfold without any particular plan. I’ve mentioned before that I love quirky doors. In Ostuni, there were plenty and they came in all colors.
Down one of the alleys, we came upon a man sitting on a step, a smoldering cigarette dangling from his mouth. He wore bright red shorts and no shirt or shoes. “Buona sera,” we said to each other as we strolled past. But then he called us back. After we chatted a few minutes, he asked if we’d like to peek inside his home a few steps away to read about his famous mother. Of course, we said yes.
An old newspaper article hung from the wall. It told how his then 87-year old mother had landed a bit part as an actress in a movie that had been filmed in Ostuni thirteen years ago: I Figli di Annibale — The Children of Hannibal. Words painted above the doorway stated that this was where the locally-famous “Nonna Vita” had lived.
Our impromptu host put his fingers to his lips. “Shh…” With an impish grin, he motioned for us to peer further into the home. Through a pretty archway was a bed, and in the bed, a sleeping woman — at least until she sensed someone was present.
Poking her head out from the covers, she realized the joke her husband was playing on her. As she started yelling indignantly at him, we quickly ducked back outside, our new friend right behind us, giggling.
Stifling laughs and wishing him luck, we waved goodbye and hastened further down the alley, searching for more doors to admire. Feast your eyes.