The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
Our accommodating host led us along quiet side streets to a nearby residential neighborhood only a few minutes walk from busier thoroughfares lined with inviting restaurants and art shops all folded into the cocoon of beautiful architecture this city is famous for. Tucked away as it was, I doubt we would have been able to find it on our own. Utility trucks parked in the street before a telephone switching center of sorts camouflaged its non-descript façade. Only a small sign on the door - “B&B Il Monastero, Arte e Relax” - hinted at its existence. About then we needed to relax. The “B” for bed also pulled at us.
You want to return to the places that especially click with you while traveling. The first visit is one of discovery, and a return, a time to explore and experience more. Beyond that, further visits are to enjoy and bathe in the culture. We know we’ll return to Lecce, yet undiscovered by large scale tourism, again and again to walk its streets farther, probe deeper into its marrow and meet its people again and again. As Silvestro says “… to eat and drink and laugh, but never after this experience to see Italy exactly the same way ever again”. In the unlimited world of a rich imagination, walking the streets of Lecce, in itself, can prove a fruitful adventure. There is no telling what you’ll discover beyond the next door that opens to you. It is the closest you can come to being embraced in the arms of an Italian family. Whether totally lost or simply disoriented (as I’ll only admit to), in need or not, it doesn’t matter. Like Silvestro’s food creations and wines, which immerse you in the rich history and culture of Puglia through cooking, a walk on the streets of Lecce, where a little search can reveal so much charm, also allows you to connect to the culture through the hospitality of its people where they live and work. Where can you go for a walk like that? I need to loose myself once again, and soon, on the back streets of Lecce.
From that Rogue Tourist,