If the room in the accommodation was bad then the breakfast was truly awful. I was sort of hoping that the place would redeem itself and live up to the gushing description that it gave itself on the website with the promise of a wonderful meal with home-made cakes and local specialities.
Not a chance, and no prospect of Kim cheering up either because the meal was absolutely woeful with cellophane wrapped supermarket cakes, those dried toast things that they have for breakfast in Europe and no proper tea – a good job then that I had had the foresight to bring some with us in a plastic bag in my suitcase. As we sat in a domestic apartment with an old man in his pee-stained underpants watching last night’s football on TV it was about now that I confirmed to myself that the Nonna Isa would be rather like Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest and would score null points in my accommodation review. It was a conversation less breakfast because Kim was speechless and too stunned to communicate.
The good news was that despite the dip in the weather the day before the sky was blue and the sun was shining so we left the apartment, walked past the funeral parlour at the end of the street that was full of grieving relatives saying goodbye to recently deceased loved ones and looked for a shop for some much needed beer and wine to use as a self prescribed anaesthetic. We got lost and walked much further than was necessary but eventually we found the local Spar, made our purchases, took them back to the room and then went off sightseeing proper into the sun bleached old town.
The old town, it has to be said, was wonderful, as pristine white as any Greek Island village and full of concentric roads that wound around like a buckled corkscrew as we climbed the steep slopes and stairs from top to bottom.
The old town is only quite small so even though we walked slowly it wasn’t long before we had seen everything there was too see in Ostuni including a visit to the Romanesque Cathedral which only served to confirm Kim’s opinion that all Cathedral’s are pretty much the same (including the electric candles) and I have to be honest that I cannot remember a single thing about it except that it cost €1 each to go inside. There was another church with a slightly weird cinema experience and a film about illegal immigrants trying to get into the United Kingdom and that was all and our assessment was that Ostuni is a place to visit for a couple of hours and not for a couple of days especially when you are staying at the dreadful Nonna Isa!
After a drink at the top of the town and a street sandwich at the bottom we walked around the outside of the city walls, climbed staircases and explored small roads, strolled through alleys and arches where there were hints of the middle ages at every turn and from this elevated position there was a good view out to the velvet blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.
It was siesta time again now so we returned to the apartment and while Kim slept to try and forget about the place I sat on the sun terrace (sorry, I mean the roof) and enjoyed the view of the city through the forest of television aerials.
As the sun dipped and the clouds began to gather rather threateningly we returned to the city centre and walked the streets again in the darkness looking for somewhere to eat. Ostuni was a different place by night and where there had been open spaces this morning now there were tables and chairs and a restaurant assault course to deal with. We both knew where we would be eating so we turned down dozens of invitations and returned to the pizzeria that we had found on our first day and ordered a pasta meal each.
The outside tables were underneath swaying canvas sheets but these were designed for protection from the sun and were not a great deal of use when it started to rain, only slowly at first but later developing into a deluge which sent al fresco diners scurrying inside. We appeared to be the lucky ones with the only table that, except for a few drips, remained dry, so we stayed put, finished our meal and then when the rain had passed over made our reluctant way back to the Nonna Isa bed and breakfast disaster zone.
The following morning there was an equally stunning bad breakfast which we finished as quickly as we could before paying up and checking out. We couldn’t get away fast enough!