Retreating To Noci # 9


I have a few free days before I have to go back to Roma to meet my sister who will be joining me for the last few weeks of my Italian journey.  I was looking on line at a bunch of different towns and hotels and then, after many searches, I found it: Abate Masseria Resort in the town of Noci. This place sung to me through the computer. Before I left Lecce, I asked Silvestro what he thought about Noci (which means Walnut in Italian) and he said, “Noci? Why would you want to go there? It’s a farm town in the countryside and there is nothing to do?”

Nothing to do, nowhere to be, no one around, no espresso, no wine, just the sound of birds singing, wind blowing and farmers working. Perfecto. So I took the train north to a town called Bari.  Got into a cab and drove 45 minutes into the mountains of Noci.


Abate Masseria is an ancient farmers residence, surrounded by a winding maze of white stonewalls with pastures, olive groves, oak woods, walnut trees and fig trees. The laying of the foundation stone of Masseria dates back to XVII century and it’s name refers to one of it’s ancient owners, an abbot, who used to celebrate the holy mass for the farmers of the area within the small church that still exists.


I am staying in a room called a Trulli, which has a conic roof and were mainly used for farm storage back in the day.


When I arrived it was very very hot and I was very very tired so I made a salad of what I found in my bag - tomato, cucumber, dried oregano, that local hard bread Frise Integrali, olive oil, sea salt and lemon.


Then I went into my Trulli and took a nap. About an hour later I was woken up from a major storm going on outside. Rain, wind, lightening, thunder and, boom, the lights went out. Gorgeous. A day of napping and, even though I was hungry, I decided to skip dinner. Too exhausted and quite frankly I don’t need to eat anymore. All I desired was to have the healing sounds of nature singing and gently rocking me in and out of deep slumber.


And now it’s morning. Quiet. Still. Peaceful. I think I’m gonna take a breather from eating for awhile. Well, maybe I’ll just have this biodynamic apricot for breakfast and oh - I gotta have some walnuts. I mean, I am in f-ing Noci after all.