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From a rose colored dawn to dinner in the ‘Tavern of Jealousy’

Ten miles on a bicycle along the Adriatic Coast.

Wind in my face the whole way.

A short shuttle ride to our neighboring Masseria for dinner.

Candle light and pizza.

Roaring fire in a stone fireplace.

This busy day soon became the main ingredient in the recipe for a fireside nap. But not until after learning first hand how to make a pizza from scratch and then “tasting” eighteen different types of brick oven pizzas.

Somewhere around pizza number ten TWWNCBUIP and I decided to leave the sampling to our fellow riders and finish our wine in front of the fireplace.  Our companions woke us just in time to sample a creamy dessert with a melted strawberry on top. Delicioso!

Then back home to rest up for our 7:30 breakfast call and our 8:30 “route planning session.”  So far, since arriving in Italy, my new wake up time is around 3 a.m. and today proved no different. I decided to try and catch the sun rising so I headed out to my private patio armed with “Dragon Tatoo” and my camera.

A few hours later I was rewarded with a rose-colored dawn. I will remember it forever, but in case I forget, I got a great picture.

This was a special morning for many reasons. We had to leave our private olive grove and golf course and head off to the pearl of the Adriatic, Ostuni.  We started off on our bikes and made it all the way to the Olive Museum before the rains came. Val and I got to turn the olive press the way the it was done centuries before.

After our visit Giuliano called out “Who wants to ride?” Everyone raised their hands. Some of us meant we wanted to ride in the van (the rain was coming down hard now) and some us of meant that they wanted to continue on our bikes. You don’t have to guess which way I voted.

We were soon in the nice dry van headed toward Ostuni. How fortunate that the rains came at this time because the road into Ostuni goes up and around a very large hill and is constructed of ancient (and now wet) cobblestones.

Our rooms at the Ostuni Palace were not nearly as “palatial” as our Masseria, but the town was charming and the dinner that night was one to remember.[slideshow]

But I get ahead of myself. After the Olive Museum we made a lunch stop at Masseria il Frantoio and those cyclists who opted to ride their bikes instead of ride in the van had to dry their clothes and shoes by the fire while our host Armando gave us an oral history of the past 500 years of the property.  Our lunch was a feast of all things grown on the property and our beverage was an excellent wine made by Armando himself.

After this fairy tale lunch we all hopped in the van for the trip to Ostuni. After settling into our hotel we enjoyed a little siesta before walking to our dinner destination. Yes, that’s right, fairy tale lunch. Bus ride. Nap. Dinner.

The Ostuni dinner was a trip. Down a street that became an alley that became a passageway we finally happened upon an incredibly charming restaurant whose name translates to “Tavern of Jealousy”, where for two hours we were presented with what seemed to be a never ending array of middle ages food. Which for those of us in the middle ages brought on the age old symptoms cured by the age old remedy – zantac.

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