So … we thought to let our car thaw out and us to sleep in. It was Saturday after all. A day for a good, old fashioned egg breakfast of the type not popular in Italy. I had seen a menu in a café nearby that listed such things, so our course was set for there. In this old town, a turn to left instead of one to the right clan lead you into some unexpected places.
Take the other night, we took a turn in roughly the direction of our place and found ourselves in an interesting area where you could see people’s living rooms from the street. It was an interesting part of town, because there weren’t any men in those living rooms, but there were a few knocking on various doors. And the living rooms apparently had beds in them, and … we’re just a pair of innocent ‘strayans abroad, but it only took a few minutes to realise we weren’t in Kansas anymore. It took ages and helpful glances at the Google machine to find our joint, which was probably 50m away (as the crow flies) but a dozen narrow streets and sharp turns and a decent 15 minutes walk.
Anyway, we wondered down to the funky end of town, down a number of more salubrious and damned respectable alleyways heading to breakfast, when we found a church (you can find a church every 100 metres if you want) that was invitingly open and decorated all pretty in preparation for a wedding. There was a tree out the front decorated with small bags of rice, we assumed for the throwing of, and flowers inside with a special, white kneeling thing setup for the couple’s nuptials. There was even a fellow playing Vivaldi on the white cloth covered synth in the corner. Noice.
We pushed on to our café, Doppio Zero, and ordered the big breakfast, which included coffee, juice an omelette and assorted meats and cheeses. It took a while, but it was worth the wait. The omelette was serviced with toasted bread and slices of prosciutto cotto, Swiss cheese. It was good, but I don’t think it was ordered very often – there was a lot of discussion about the omelette and how to make it.
Full of egg and such, we headed back out to the streets of Lecce and found the Museo del Teatro Romano, a museum built around an Roman theatre found by accident in 1929. The museum isn’t in the ‘greatest museums I have visited’ category, but provided an interesting diversion for a half hour or so, and a quick romp around the unearthed teatro.
Full of Latin and stuff, we roamed a little further down the strada to a modern art museum called MUST, the historical museum of Lecce. There approach can be described as, ‘where modernity enlightens history’. A lovely gallery with a couple of exhibitions, one about the region’s pre-eminent, papier-mâché artist, whose name now escapes me (embarrassment) and another which was a collaboration with artists from Taiwan. This was a roam most worthwhile.
After MUST, we headed down to the amphitheatre, which is in the main piazza at the place where the the old and new towns meet and headed into an amazing cake shop, Cafe Alvino (subtitled – Le dolce fantasie) where we surveyed the broad expanse of cakes before settling on two small ones to have with our coffee in the sala interna. Once consumed it seemed like a good idea to have a wine, before the walk home, which we did.
Afternoon took us back to the supermarket district, which encompassed the department store precinct. Remembering that this was Epiphany eve which is the day Italians swap gifts, the department store was wild. We’ve been to one like this before, COIN (pronounced CO-IN), but never at this time. The toy queue was long and solid, in fact all the queues were long and solid. After COIN, we visited a few more shops, then hit the supermarket, ostensibly to atone for the chicken disaster of a few days ago. We approached and quickly discovered that our earlier visit had realized us a hen rather than a chicken. So chicken in hand, we returned home and Pip, using the excellent stock she squeezed from the fail bird, made an excellent roast chicken meal for us.