Sunday, August 11, 2013

Peta Mathias on Puglia

Dear Fearless Gastronomads

Puglia - 14th to 21st September 2014

We have, for seemingly ever, wanted to add a gastronomic tour of somewhere in Italy to our list of destinations, but never seem to have had the time to do all the hard work. It had to be really special, different, and also fit in with our ethos and way of doing things. So when my producer, Jane Avery, and I were invited to Puglia by Southern Vision Travel in April it seemed like the perfect opportunity to kick start the project again.
I called my business partner, David, and having already travelled in the area some ten years before, he jumped at the idea. We returned together in early July this year to research it more fully and are thrilled to announce that we will be leading a fabulous tour there in 2014 (14th to 21st September 2014).
Check out the video Jane Avery made in April on YouTube:] and Jane's article in the Otago Daily Times

Puglia is a rather well kept secret agricultural and cultural paradise right in the heel of Italy’s boot. It is absolutely “us” as a destination: very authentic, a little different, and strong on tradition.

Long a favourite with Romans and other northern Italians, and like most of the south historically poor, it has in recent years benefitted enormously from greater access to Europe and investment from the north. The result is a region with exciting new takes on traditions, particularly in food and wine, chic places to stay
and an infectious but professional enthusiasm by the locals to really take care of incoming visitors.

The Puglians are a proud and adorable people, perhaps more prone to reflection than their excitable northern cousins. There is certainly no horn tooting on the roads! This is attributed, perhaps apocryphally, to the influence of the Normans. Surrounded by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, there are lovely beaches, sensationally fresh and varied seafood, and robust pastas, meats and breads. The fabulously preserved architecture, from the baroque magnificence of Lecce and other smaller but no less superb towns to the delightfully eccentric cone shaped trulli, is also a major highlight.

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