Life and journey in Puglia...
I was 25 years old when I left Puglia (or Apulia how it is usually called in English) as I wanted to visit new places in the Old Continent.
At that time Puglia was a haven for local natives or Italian tourists coming here to taste simply and cheaply delicious food called “cucina povera”, with stunning landscapes of massive olive trees; hundreds of kilometres of expanisve beach; latterly recognised internationally and rated accordingly with blue and orange flags, nature, art, history and some of the bluest waters in Europe.
After 13 years travel analysts consider Puglia as the place to visit in 2013; it is now amongst the top 10 worldwide wine destinations according to the Wine Enthusiasm Magazine; Salento in Puglia is one the coolest places to visit in Italy. According to travel experts, hotel reservations in Puglia have increased in the last few years, notwithstanding the downturn in the tourism sector; more and more properties in Puglia are listed to host people coming from all over the world; the latest Travel Exhibition in Milan (BIT 2013) had seen the Puglia stand as the most visited.
When I used to live there, Puglia was mainly an agricultural region producing oranges, mandarins or grapes, with some massive and ugly industries around these fabulous lands. Salento which is in the south east, along with the baroque beauty of cities such as Lecce, are widely recognized as the Florence of the south, is largely thought as the reborn of the tourism in Puglia.
In the beginning of 2000 Salento was regarded as the coolest attraction by politicians or national vips opting for this piece of land. Nowadays Puglia has different icons which represent it such as “Trullo”, a cone construction made by local stones where you can definitely stay cool indoor despite “il soleone”, the so-called lion sun. Or Castel del Monte,another site protected by Unesco, whilst this amazing castle is in the middle of nowhere, it is now a symbol in the heel of Italy and a tourist must-see.
Visiting the vineyards is an engaging and interesting experience for those arriving in Puglia. Puglia is made of friendly people, very supportive and always with a big smile; great nights out where you can enjoy food, music festivals or place where the local saint is celebrated. The passion for this place, the care about it, the people and the friends living in this territory, the desire to show overseas visitors how amazing this place is, culminates in the of creating this community called Benvenutinpuglia.com.
You would have the opportunity to post your travel experiences in Puglia; to talk about your Puglian food recipes ; to create new cultural projects and musical festivals such as ' Culturanze', to talk about quality of wine and oil tasting; to make fresh pasta and post your video for instance; to make fantastic pictures and documentaries about sightseeing in Puglia; to suggest cheap or expensive place to eat out. You will give the opportunity to people who have not yet discovered this enticing region to begin dreaming as Salvatore did, with his cinematografo in Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. Puglia is a place where all these experiences could be lived and spent for a day, a week or very easily much much longer!