Stay (and Eat): Casa Cilona

09.27.2012 | by: Meghan

Aside from crumbling masseria, the other distinctive, vernacular structure you’ll notice dotting the Puglian landscape is the trulli– adorable little conical houses, stacked stone on stone without any cement or mortar. An architectural feat! They look like tiny gnome houses, and if there’s any truth to legend, their origin, which dates back to mid-1600s, is related to the very clever fact that owners could disassemble their homes in order to evade the taxman and quickly put them back together afterwards. In nearby Alberobello, where you can buy cheap keychains and miniature replicas but can’t get inside a real one, the trulli experience has been reduced to something of a tourist attraction. But people still live in trullo, and more and more folks from the north are buying and fixing them up as country homes.

The kindhearted Michela, who helps manage Villa Pizzorusso (in addition to teaching Italian at a school in Messagne), suggests we make dinner reservations with her uncle Tonino, a talented chef who recently took some time off from his job as a seasonal chef in Greece to put the finishing touches on three conical trullo about a half mile down the winding dirt country road from his own beautiful trulli. He and his charming, funny wife, Mariagrazia, have already hosted a few guests at the b&b, and Tonino has been taking dinner reservations from visitors who’d like to experience traditional Puglian cuisine. And for those not familiar with what that might entail, you’re in for a treat. I cannot imagine better ambassadors to the food or the culture.

Tonino usually hosts dinners or classes in the shared kitchen at the b&b, but on this night, they had already invited friends and family over for dinner at their home. After getting hopelessly lost, we arrive at dusk, and Mariagrazia suggests we take a walk–with a glass of Puglian rosso in hand–to check out their recently-finished b&b space while Tonino cooks. There’s still a hint of light left to guide our way through the grove, beside the ancient stone walls that snake along with the winding dirt paths. The entire scene feels nothing shy of a living fairytale: potted plants on steps, horses, lights strung in fruit trees, a sweet white pendant announcing the entrance, almonds drying on a blanket out back. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have the time or light to capture the experience better with my camera. I snapped a few ill-lit photos of the exterior and grounds, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. By the time we got back to their place, it’s the kind of dark that happens only in the country. Even though we come nearly face to face, I can hear but not see the donkey, who hangs out in the back by a dirt lane flanked by two parallel rows of regal old trees.

Our unlikely group sits outside around a big wooden table on the stone patio, and for people who have never met each other and don’t all speak the same language, it’s a boisterous and familiar affair. There are a couple cousins, and some neighbors from Rome–a photographer for National Geographic and a restoration architect who was recently assigned the ruins at Pompei–who help with translations from time to time. And the food! Tonino, the humble chef sits at the head of the table watching the faces of his contented guests, while Mariagrazia tells   stories and panfries perfect, just-picked squash blossoms on the outdoor stove top. More than six courses stretches over two and a half hours: almonds they cracked with a rock and roasted this morning; fava bean puree topped with shrimp; super-fresh eggplant and zucchini roasted and then drizzled with their own hand-pressed olive oil and mint; red peppers topped with toasty bread crumbs; bluefish that resembles anchovies or sardines but tastes like neither; silken pasta with fresh herbs, cheese and calamari; a famous slow food biscuit; and a hazelnut cheese loaf made with milk from their neighbors cows and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, which remains one of my favorite parts of the evening. They bring out a circular tray full of glass jars and vials filled with aged balsamic vinegar, a few up to 40 years old. It feels like the kind of special taste reserved for when a firstborn daughter announces she’s getting married, not for some stranger from Detroit. Hugs, scribbled emails and profuse thanks all around, I’m touched by how opening your home and sharing food can create an intimacy never found in a restaurant.

[Call +39 338 336 3610 to make reservations]

Share/Bookmark

378 Comments on “Stay (and Eat): Casa Cilona”

  1. Квартира невинных 44 серия озвучка на русском Квартира невинных 44 серия турецкий сериал Квартира невинных 44 серия турецкий на русском языке

     

  2. Good write-up, I am normal visitor of one’s website, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

     

  3. Lovely just what I was searching for.Thanks to the author for taking his clock time on this one.

     

  4. certainly like your web-site however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I?¦ll certainly come again again.

     

  5. Real wonderful visual appeal on this website , I’d rate it 10 10.

     

  6. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

     

  7. Superb website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Appreciate it!

     

  8. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

     

  9. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this.

     

  10. You need to take part in a contest for top-of-the-line blogs on the web. I’ll suggest this site!

     

  11. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually something which I feel I might by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very vast for me. I’m looking forward to your next submit, I will try to get the hang of it!

     

  12. Nice post. I learn one thing more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It will all the time be stimulating to read content from different writers and observe somewhat one thing from their store. I’d choose to use some with the content on my blog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a hyperlink in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

     

  13. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

     

  14. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is just cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

     

  15. Запретный плод 117 серия онлайн Запретный плод 117 серия онлайн Запретный плод 117 серия

     

  16. Very good written information. It will be helpful to everyone who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep up the good work – for sure i will check out more posts.

     

  17. Запретный плод 117 серия все серии Запретный плод 117 серия все серии Запретный плод 117 серия с русской озвучкой и с субтитрами

     

  18. Great site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks in your effort!

     

  19. https://bit.ly/Pacanki-6-Sezon-5-Seriya ilgr xwi yiro wvg rnpu qvf

    ppwf cov hwgn tya ulyg iuh fiek wdv xxfe qad kzxm boe
    rpoo zfc xrrk dsu xjqi gxikxmz zzy qyhd mma aklc yng pzxt jar jfeq etk encq hpy

     

  20. Hi there very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m glad to search out a lot of helpful info here in the post, we want develop more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.

     

  21. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you?¦ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal web-site.

     

  22. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

     

  23. Неверный 36 серия онлайн Сериал Неверный 36 серия смотреть Неверный 36 серия на русском языке DiziMania

     

  24. Барбаросса 7 серия все серии Барбаросса 7 серия смотреть онлайн на русском

     

  25. Woh I love your blog posts, saved to fav! .

     

  26. Барбаросса 7 серия озвучка на русском Турецкий сериал Барбаросса 7 серия на русском языке AveTurk

     

  27. F*ckin’ tremendous issues here. I am very glad to look your post. Thank you so much and i am looking ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

     

  28. Hey there this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

     

Leave a Comment