2015 – Italy – Oria, The Old


Antimo took us to Oria this morning. What a quaint little town not far from Manduria. It’s a bit hilly but easy enough to walk (says the person with the bad foot). However, some of the streets were so steep the city had to add steps of sorts right into the road. You can see by the picture below, although you don’t get the full perspective. Just after we walked down this street, a small car also came down. Unbelievable.

Oria is a very old city dating back to the 1700’s. After we walked around a bit, Antimo called a friend. He invited us to his house which was all redone and fashioned by the owner, Alfredo. This creative and artistic man is a fashion entertainer. Check out his website alfredonocera.com. He dresses models in cloth and fastens them with 2 pins. Yes, I said 2 pins. No sewing, nothing but 2 straight pins. He did say that if he dressed a woman for an actual party he would use safety pins. Now Dick is thinking – how cool would that be to pull the top pin out. I would probably be leaving him in Italy if he did that. ha ha.

Alfredo’s house had details that the average person wouldn’t think of. For instance, he used a softer stone on the fireplace so he could have it sculpted. He changed the footprint of his home so that everything flowed from one area to another. He used silver and red as accents which was stunning. It was very elegant, yet warm and inviting to sit on his white couch and have an espresso (which we did!). Thank goodness I didn’t spill anything. Another friend stopped by while we were there and took us to his property around the corner which is a BNB. OMG! They restored this ancient building into a palace. Even the floors and ceiling of the main room is painted like a fresco. In the dining room they created a look of uncovering a fresco on one wall.

This was our last day in the Manduria area. I wanted to bring something home for the Amici Italian ladies dinner and Antimo met us at a bakery close to his house and helped us pick out some cookies. I’m not sure how many of these will make it home – but the lady wrapped them up like a Christmas present. Dick is figuring out a way to get into the cookies and rewrap them without my knowing. He fell in love with the almond meringues.

That evening, we took our last walk about town and ran into several people we knew from our short stay there. A young girl whose family we visited for lunch one day and Giuseppe Greco who I will tell you all about later in this blog.

This is the end of the “old” and the next post will reveal the “modern”.

Old town Oria – we passed by a bakery that was cooling their cookies. Oh that’s a saying I could use once I get home. “Just cool your cookies Dick” ha ha So to give you a perspective, there is no door here, we could have actually grabbed a few of these cookies. They did have a screen of sorts that covered the doorway. This is done to keep the kitchen cool and for air flow.


This is the top of an ancient column by the main church in Oria. A beautiful church BTW. There were grates in the floor and in the olden days monks used to chant from below and the sound would resonate throughout the church. We were told that the number of tassles represented the importance of the town’s religious leaders. Six tassles was pretty important.

This is a street we were walking down. Doesn’t look that steep from this perspective but it was!


Alfredo and us in his house. Can you believe he had the walls created to look like that? Amazing!



Alfredo’s fireplace. He had a crest with his initials at the top of the mantle. His entire home was filled with beautiful architecture and details. Notice the transistor radio on the mantle?

Funny huh. But also remember, we just dropped in spur of the moment. You would not find our house this immaculate.



A cute courtyard in Oria. We ran across many of them along our walk through the ancient city. What does Dick notice? How they found pots to fit in each side of the rounded gate area. It was an odd shape. Does a former engineer ever turn off that side of their brain?





Market in Manduria. There was street after street of vendors. It was fairly organized by clothing, food, kitchen items, etc. Here’s a table of fabrics. Dick rushed me past it so I was barely able to get a picture – but had to for my fabric loving friends.


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