Friday, January 2, 2009


Perla the Dog seems patiently happy to wait for us (in a typically canine fashion) to enter into the ex-oil mill of the farm at San Ferdinando di Puglia.

The stones that the pavement and base of the wall are made of are called "chianche" locally. They are large square, or rectangular, blocks of local stone, usually 30-50 cm deep. They are quite solid and will last for an extremely long time. They were used in the past to pave streets and sidewalks. When I lived in Molfetta's old town, my walls and floors were made of this stone. It was rather cold and unforgiving for little boys still unsteady on their feet!

Stone is one of the most abundant raw materials throughout the region of Apulia. As a result, it has always been the primary building material. You won't see any wooden houses around here. We're short on trees, except for olives and they're more important for their fruit than their wood, but there is stone everywhere, both above and underground.

Just trivia, but in Molfetta a boring person is called a "chiancone," or "big block of stone."


Maria Verivaki said...

imagine having this stone in your house! i'm freezing at the thought of it

Hilda said...

I love stone houses! Thank you for this very interesting information about your region, Saretta.

Chiancone. How is it pronounced? I have to memorize that! ;D

Love your new pic, btw. Fun!

Unknown said...

Altough I understand it could be very cold, your former house must be fantastic with all those stones walls!
By the way, funny glasses! :-)

Saretta said...

Hi Kiwi! We had a lot of carpets on the floors!

Hilda, let's sounds like "kee-yan-ko-nay" with the first two syllables forming a dipthong and the stress on "ko".

JM - it was a beautiful old house, that's true. It was constructed in the 14th century and was part of a Benedictine monastery. But cold and dark and moldy...not really a healthy place to live longterm.

Glad you all like my glasses! Just a little new year's silliness!

nobu said...

Hello Saretta, I hope you will have a great year.

Jilly said...

Love the image. He's a gorgeous dog. I love the trivia - 'a big block of stone.' My neighbour is always giving me phrases in French than mean something quite different to their literal meaning.

Happy New Year, Saretta.

USelaine said...

Looks like a very sweet companion, watching to see that you stay safely together with the pack. I appreciate the architectural history and details too.

Shutterup-Shutterbug said...

So cute!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

perla looks quite sweet! great getting to know you and molfetta look forward to more adventures in 09!

this post reminds me of how we call slow or think folks 'blockheads' kind of like stoneheads,eh?