Contributing Monkie Aria Alpert
Published on July 30, 2012
Photographer: Aria Alpert
My cooking school has ended and now I have a few free days before I go back to Roma to meet my sister who will be joining me for the last two weeks of my Italian journey. Hmmmmmmm…what do I wanna do after a decadent week of abundant food and wine and socializing and lack of sleep…how about a silent retreat and f-ing cleanse! Ha.
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. 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.” Perfecto. That’s exactly what I want. Nowhere to be, nothing to see, no one around, no espresso, no wine, not a lot of food, just the sound of birds singing, wind blowing, farmers working, ahhhhhhh… bliss. So I took the train from Lecce north to a town called Bari, got into a cab and drove 45 minutes into the mountains, arriving at Abate Masseria Resort in peaceful 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 Trulli, which has a conic roof and were mainly used for farm storage. I mean, could this be more perfect… :)
When I arrived it was very very hot and I was very very tired so I had a simple arugula and tomato salad with olive oil, sea salt and lemon. Then went into my Trulli and took a nap. About an hour later I was woken up from a major storm. Rain, wind, lightening, thunder and, boom, the lights went out. YES! 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 or want to be around people. Lovely. 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…ummmm…I gotta have a walnut…I mean, I am in f-ing Noci after all…:)