Category: Culture

Made in Puglia #1: Mine vaganti

Mine vaganti filmed in and around Lecce is a 2010 film by Turkish-Italian film director and screenwriter Ferzan Özpetek. The Cantone family own a pasta factory in Lecce. One of the two sons, Tommaso (played by Riccardo Scamarcio), returns from Rome and hopes to use a family dinner with his family and their business partners, the Brunetti family, […]

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Ostuni; business as usual (but under refurbishment)…

We are often asked whether towns and cities in Puglia will be open to sustain visitors outside the peak tourist season (usually from Easter through to October, reaching its peak in August with the ferragosto holiday on 15 August). Commercial activity in Lecce and Bari continues throughout the year. Most restaurants bars and shops are […]

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Italy’s Pride Wave – LGBTQ+ Pride in Italy 2020

Pride parades celebrating LGBTQ achievements and community take place throughout Italy from mid-May to the end of September. The collective Pride wave (“Onda Pride”) sweeps across Italy as Pride is celebrated in more than 30 towns and cities. This year Italy’s first confirmed event will be held here in Puglia, in Taranto on May 23rd. Rome […]

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Holiday like a local – 5 top tips

1. Buy something from the local panificio, caseificio or pastificio and say “buongiorno”. Here in Puglia people are friendly and polite. When someone of any age enters the local baker, cheeseshop, pasta shop – even the doctor’s waiting room – they will typically greet everyone, wishing them a good day. The shopkeeper and their patrons will […]

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Parlo Italiano? Do you speak Italian?

Italian is a beautiful language. It sings to you, and it is fun to attempt speaking it back. Trying a few words in Italian when visiting – ciao, buongiorno, grazie – gives a small sense of achievement. But more so we think that it is polite to make the effort when visiting any foreign country […]

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Understanding Italy #2

Italy is such a delightful place to live in if you happen to be a man. – E. M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread, 1905 In his fantastic book The Italians, author John Hooper considers that the public debate on gender and language that took place years ago in other societies has scarcely begun in […]

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La Fòcara

picture from www.visititaly.eu In January, Novoli celebrates “the days of fire” with the huge awe-inspiring bonfire of the Fòcara, as part of a festival dedicated to Sant’Antoni de su Fogu (St. Antonio Abate, Saint Anthony the Abbot). The highlight of the festival, which takes place from the 16th to the 18th January, is the lighting […]

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Understanding Italy #1

No one knows for sure how many laws there are in Italy. The government declared, after a clear out by the “Minister for Simplification”, that it had been reduced to around 10,000. Almost twice as high as in Germany and three times as high as in Britain. If the law is complex, then enforcement and […]

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Eating out? Don’t obsess over TripAdvisor

You check your Instagram. Everyone is having the perfect meal, in a perfect restaurant on their perfect holiday… You deserve it too. But trying to accommodate your holiday companions’ dietary preferences, avoiding tourist traps and the pressure of finding perfection weigh too heavily. You turn to TripAdvisor, are encouraged by a few good reviews. Then […]

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Eating out in Puglia? The rules…

The only people eating in restaurants at 8pm are British tourists. At 8.30pm the German and Scandinavian tourists join them. Italians enjoy the occasion of dining out. And usually it is for an occasion. So they are not in a rush, neither to eat, nor to finish and leave. So if the service gets slower […]

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