For nearly any intrepid traveler there’s a certain gravity that will eventually pull your heart’s curiosity in the direction of Italy. The masterfully crafted cuisine, the passionate culture of every day living, a tremendous history that sculpted the modern world as we know it, the art, the architecture…whatever it is that ignites your wanderlust; Italy is sure to become a craving in need of satiation eventually.
In a country where each region carries such pronounced individual identities, it can be a daunting task to settle in on a favorite; but if we had only one single region where we were allowed to return in this beautiful country, you would find us down south in the heel of Italy’s boot, soaking in la Dolce Vita in Puglia.
Puglia is the Italy of your imagination. Sautéed garlic and rosemary waft out of windows as grandmas gather in groups on their doorsteps to thumb out tiny ear shaped orecchiette pasta to the tune of mid day church bells sounding in the piazza. A stroll through a village’s polished limestone streets is a photographers dream. With every flick of the shutter, each snapshot captures the air of authenticity of a place that is truly preserved in it’s own traditions.
As you work your way out of the nautilus shaped city centers and into the countryside, you find yourselves on quiet roads that meander through an agroscape ranging from millennial old olive orchards to blossoming artichokes to Negro Amaro grape vines heavy with the fruits of a soon to be beautifully crafted vintage. The soil is as rich as the farmers’ smiles that wave as you ride past and with each “Buongiorno!” you quickly begin to fall in love with the people of Puglia.
Once you move out of the fields, a contrasting coastline of Adriatic blues and creamy limestone yellows begin to dominate the panorama and a fisherman’s culture takes command of the scene. In the early morning light tiny blue boats fill up villages’ harbors full with the fruits of their labor as fresh salty buckets of urchins, oysters, shrimp, sardines, and yellowtail pour into daily markets and are negotiated away as fast as they arrived.
This is Puglia; a place that will transport you back to an older Italy, a place revered for their dedication to locally produced cuisine, a place where tiny olive-tree-lined roads and dramatic coastlines are filled with cyclists enjoying the perfect weather, a place that you may not of heard of before, and a place you’ll never forget.
Join Jason and Sonja in Puglia