OSTUNI BETWEEN OLIVI AND SEA
Ostuni boasts in its district some of the most beautiful Apulian farms that today are not only finds from the past, but have become companies, combining the organic production of extra virgin olive oil to careful and aware tourism in contact with nature.
So with this part dedicated to the dense plot of rural settlements that dot and characterize the countryside around the White City, we conclude the series dedicated to that golden triangle between the provinces of Bari and Brindisi.
Bright examples are the Masseria Carparelli and the Antica Masseria Brancati, both included in the Parco delle Dune Costiere in the area between the Piana degli Ulivi Millenari and the sea.
In the first, through three separate buildings we can read the history of these lands from the 1400s up to the present day. The first nucleus, in fact, which presents linear and dry forms, dates back to the fifteenth century and was probably built by the Zevallos family, while the agglomeration next to it shows charming baroque aesthetic lines grafted on a high lookout tower with ladders and ladders access, which recall to memory both the stories of pirates and brigands and the glories of the bourgeoisie of the ‘700 and’ 800 who moved the styles in vogue in the countryside over time.
The olive oil is obtained by cold extraction with millstones in stone and sweet pressing to preserve its organoleptic properties and enhance the gustatory-olfactory qualities that we could directly appreciate during the tasting by the producer and owner of the farm, Corrado Rodio, jealous guardian of the enormous patrimony that extends beyond the high and white walls: a thousand olive trees of which 800 registered as a national monument. Making us taste the gold colored liquid produced by these wonderful plants explains that an olive grove to be called monumental must have at least 60% of trees with a trunk diameter equal to or greater than one meter. In addition they must present a particular bearing and have a historical-anthropological value ascertained through historical documents, such as the writings of Columella in which he mentioned a place near Brindisi, where the “Salento” was cultivated, attributable to the lettuce of Salento.
Here, the absolute protagonists, on equal merit, are the monumental olive grove and the fortified farm, one of the oldest in Puglia. Walking through the sculpture trees with enchanting shapes it is easy to be induced to the spontaneous play of the association of the shape of the twisted trunks of the olive trees to a mental image, a psychic process called pareidolia.
The farm, a clear example of a fortified structure, preserves intact all the testimonies of local history, from the Messapi to today. The guided tour begins in the monumental olive grove and continues in the Hypogeum crusher where the oldest element is a large press base, presumably of the Messapian age.
By the will of Don Domenico Rodio, ancestor of the current owner, at the end of the nineteenth century, the old oil mill was transformed into sheepfold and in 1880 a new epigean oil mill was built, with a three-mill, olive grove, stable and a room destined housing for the workers, which currently houses a small museum of peasant and frantoian civilization. The main body of the farm is the sixteenth-century watchtower which was then incorporated into the manor house, defended by high perimeter walls with a walkway, which still today partially encircle the large internal courtyard. In the rear, there is a small candy box, the church built in 1768 by the Piscopo family, whose noble coat of arms is placed at the center of the rococo style altar dedicated to the Madonna dell’Addolorata and the two Saints Oronzo and Biagio.
Visiting these farms is an obligation for those coming from these parts, because they tell the story of this fertile and generous land better than the pages of a book. Alberto Angela and Davide Rampello have understood this well and have dedicated an episode of their extremely popular programs to the Antica Masseria Brancati.
Source: Città Meridiane