The Dinette Teller – 33. Ferragosto. A Special Event in Puglia

FERRAGOSTO

Ferragosto is an Italian and Sammarinese public holiday celebrated on 15 August, coinciding with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. By metonymy, it is also the summer vacation period around mid-August, which may be a long weekend (ponte di ferragosto).

A TOURIST IN PUGLIA

Since I started working at Taste with Gusto I’ve become very interested in Italian food, culture and tradition. The passion that Franco detaches for his region has been a source of inspiration for me. Furthermore, the taste of Puglia has such a strong character that suddenly, visiting this region became a dream in my To-Do list!

My family and I travelled from Rome to Puglia by car with one goal in mind, to celebrate Ferragosto in the Salento peninsula, the “heel” of the “boot” of Italy!

It was a long way and the road was packed with Italians and tourist from all over the world heading south to celebrate together one of the most breathtaking events of the year, Ferragosto!

PLACES:

Since last week we have been travelling to some of the most beautiful towns in the area: Galipolli, Torre di San Giovanni, Pescoluse and Santa Maria di Leuca ( famous from being the most southern point in Italy).

In summary, all I can say is that I have completely fallen in love with this place! The blue skies, the delicious meals and the traditional music and dance…

If you are looking for a place that can take your breath away… visit Puglia!

 

SWIM AND RELAX: 

Beaches, Water Parks and Lakes are the most popular places to spend the day. Considering the high temperatures a source of water is fundamental to handle the heat! One of the main traditions is to play water balloons fights… both children and adults!

Santa Maria di Leuca

Santa Maria di Leuca

 

THE STARS:

During the period of Ferragosto, the sky is full of falling stars. The Perseid meteor shower is at its peak between the 10th and 15th of August. It’s a tradition to lie down in a dark place like a beach or park and enjoy looking at the sky. It is important to be patient and wait for a lucky falling star so that you can make a wish, as soon as you see one of it!

A starry sky!

PARTY & FUN:

During this time of the year, there are hundreds of events and festivals in Puglia. Even the smallest town is full of artisan markets, food stalls and street musicians. One of the most important things to do in Puglia at this time of the year is to have a lot of fun and to go sleep late!

Beach Party in Puglia

Beach Party in Puglia

FOOD

The cuisine of Puglia is just delicious. It includes meat and fish specialities, but also vegetarian dishes. You will find a huge varieties of traditional recipes that can vary from town to town.

Some of the typical specialities are local cheeses, such as “caciocavallo” cheese, “burrata” (a mozzarella cheese with a buttery filling), and the “Canestrato”. Also, the whole grain and “Indian wheat” flour are also very important. Therefore it is possible to find a wide range of wholemeal bread, friselle, taralli, pizza or pasta as the worldwide famous “orecchiette“.

 

 

Orecchiette Puglia

Vegetables, fish and olives are the heart of the summer recipes, whereas legumes and handmade pasta are the hubs of the winter kitchen. Almonds, honey and grapes are the basis of delicious desserts, such as the fried honey “cartellate” and the grape marmalade biscuits.

In Puglia, food festivals are never ending: “Bruschetta”, “Sweet Pepper” and “Aubergine” Festivals are some of the most famous ones.

MUSIC

The most traditional music and dance from Puglia are called “Pizzica”, which literally means “Stings”. It is part of the dances called “Tarantelle”, deriving from the name of the tarantula spider. In the past,  they used to give the rhythm during the curative ritual against the poisonous spider bites. The legend tells that it was necessary to dance and play the tambourines with a very fast and hypnotic pace, to neutralise the poison and to break the spell.

 

 

Tarantelle"

Tarantelle

LANDSCAPES

One of the most famous structures of Puglia is the “Trullo”, a very typical little cupola-shaped house. They are one of the symbols of this region, with their characteristic shape and white colour. The most ancient Trulli are dated back to the Renaissance, and the most beautiful ones are located in the locality of Alberobello, today Unesco World Heritage.

A special mention goes obviously to the sea, or better to say, the SEAS. In fact, at Punta Meliso you can witness the meeting line of the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. It is not difficult to notice the difference in the two blue water currents and to identify the line. This is something that you can observe in few other places in the world!

Puglia hides a lot more of spectacular landscapes! One of the most beautiful and strange at once things that nature has given us is the path of Olive Trees, with their twisted trunks and dark green leaves. Just take a trip by car or by bike in the countryside of Salento, and the province of Brindisi to be enchanted.

Not far from Otranto, you will found an emerald lake, created by the ground seeping waters of a mining reservoir. The colour intensity goes from a deep emerald green to a violent purple and it is surreal.

So what are you waiting for? Come in Puglia and get stunned!

 

Sunset in Puglia

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