Carolus De Mari – Acquavive Princeps

Door of the City Hall – Acquaviva delle Fonti, Puglia (Italy)

A few years ago I led a group of Americans traveling to Puglia, Italy with me. I took them off the beaten tourist path for a surprising glimpse in the Italian living style of the locals.

“Driving through the countryside of Bari in early afternoon is such a pleasant activity. Nobody is on the two-lanes provincial road, we don’t have to wait for the herd of sheep to complete their outing, and neither we have to stay behind a car waiting to make a move until the incoming traffic on the other side has passed, as we would in a different time of the day. The road is all ours and “Mimmo Lovely” (tour manager) wants to amuse us while driving. He can make music using only his lips, I mean he can be the musical instrument himself, or a full orchestra. He has an exceptional talent in imitating a trombone, a saxophone or a violin and I am sure, if sometimes he feels alone, he can start his own music just by using those vibrating lips. It is after lunch and he is trying to keep us awake while we are reaching our next destination.
At this hour in the afternoon sleepy feeling will attack easily, after all, we had a two hours lunch, good wines, and the sun is low in the sky, beating on us in the car. We are being cradled gently.

It seems we have arrived. The town is Acquaviva delle Fonti and a food demonstration is going on in the courtyard of the City Hall. Oh no, I believe we will eat again! I am a bread lover, there is a crusty home-made bread on display, how can I resist a sample of that huge country bread I see on the table, yellow inside and crusty outside? The dipping olive oil to taste is green and stings the tongue, it is peppery at the right point without having any presence of chili pepper.

The food demonstration is happening in the atrium of the City Hall designed in a neoclassical architecture. My attention’s focus is now switched to architectural details, stairs, heave, walls and a beautiful mosaic floor.

The name Acquaviva delle Fonti comes from the union of two words Acqua (water) and Viva (live), it refers to the abundance of spring water running in the sub terrain that made the land a very fertile valley. The town is known for the production of the sweetest red-purple onion, celebrated every July with a country festival during which vendors show off varieties of their onion pies.

The ceiling in the Mayor’s office decorated in the 1700s is incredibly beautiful and the mosaic design on the floor looks like an area rug. What a privilege to work here every day, breathing antiquity and art!” (excerpt from my book: “The Road To Top Of The World“).

The building of Adelfia’s City Hall goes back many centuries, the door is an elegant neoclassic example of entry to a noble home and here is just part of the ceiling in the Mayor’s office.

Ceiling City Hall – Adelfia, Italy

San Antion is offering a Thursday Door Challenge, come on over and learn stories behind doors in the world. Ciao.
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Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


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