Category: Culture

Bari and Lecce as seen by City Breaks Podcast

In Episode 9 of their City Break Ideas podcast language teacher Marilyn Jones (with a wonderful voice) provides some inspiration for visiting Dubai, Kiev, Siena, Bari and Lecce. Given the Covid19 travel restrictions around the world in this episode she reviews “three great travel websites” for her own inspiration – including the Big Gay Podcast […]

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Christmas in Puglia | La Festa dell’Immacolata

Today is an Italian public holiday in celebration of the “Immacolata” – the Immaculate Conception. If you are scratching your head over the maths, fear not. Confusingly this isn’t the conception of the baby Jesus – that’s the feast of the Annunciation celebrated on March 25th. Rather its the conception of Mary, born without original […]

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LGBT rights in Italy progress

The slow creep towards equality   The Italian lower Chamber – by 265 votes for, 193 against and one abstention – has approved a bill to combat hate crimes and discrimination relating to homophobia, misogyny and disability. Whilst the majority have welcomed the approval of the law as “an important step” – Italy is one of […]

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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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