Sunday, 24 August 2014

Cheesy Cities, Meals and Literature

Lecce, Italy

Lecce sounds like a dairy product. And that's fitting as this post is mostly about cheese.

I'll start with how we got to this milky city: we had bought ferry tickets to Greece but we didn't want to wait in Brindisi all evening (Brindisi being a lame port town) so we went off to explore the heel of the boot that is Italy.
Street in Lecce, Italy
Lecce's duomo (cathedral) was interesting but we couldn't get a good photograph as the sun was behind it, and we couldn't go inside as it was closed. Off the main piazza, we found a dessert cafe and settled in with various chocolate mousse-shaped tasties. Wanting to enjoy the sun, we rested on a bench in a park we found, listening to a Dresden Files audiobook. Don't even get me started on the Dresden Files. The first one is good, but after that they get extremely repetitive and become filled with cheesy jokes. I believe I got to the seventh book because I had nothing else to listen to, and rage quit halfway through. Never again.
Street in Lecce, Italy
There was a path that led directly through the park, into an old building and out into the historic centre. We wandered through the Piazza del Duomo, and towards the ancient Roman ampitheatre that had been excavated. Just to reinforce Emperor Hadrian's greatness, he once up and moved the city two kilometers...with his bare hands (okay I made that last part up, but it's plausible).
Street in Lecce, Italy
As night fell, we approached a Lonely Planet recommended restaurant. A server informed us that they wouldn't be opening for a while, so they asked Yannick for a name to take a reservation. Not knowing how to spell out Italian letters, he mimed writing himself. Confused at first, she handed over the pad and he wrote it down for them.

We wandered the streets to kill time, the light stone buildings fading in the dusk. When we returned, the menu was unfamiliar, being all in Italian and laid out in many different parts. Not knowing if we had to order vegetables separately or not, we just ordered bruschetta to start followed by meat.

The bruschetta was the best we had ever had: one with cheese and tomato and another with cheese and pancetta. For mains, I had two sausages and Yannick had one sausage covered in cheese. Strange, but delicious.

We rounded off the evening by exploring the night market that had sprung up, before preparing ourselves for the long ferry journey ahead.