A new collaboration for this blog: Alessandra

I am happy to announce that this blog has a new collaborator: Alessandra. She will help me to manage the contents and to translate them from italian to english language. This new collaboration is due to two facts. First, our readers are growing in number and we want to give you more detailed information about our Puglia. Second, I am a bit slow in translating from italian to english, I first think in italian then I write in english: let’s say that I need to …improve! That’s why we decided to start a collaboration with Alessandra. We are going to publish recipes and wine notes from Puglia, travel tips on where to go, what to see and where to sleep. For instance, we will discover ancient masserie and agriturismo, we will suggest itineraries in the countryside of Salento and walks into the old towns, we will go to take pictures of some of the best beaches and so on. Now, let’s introduce Alessandra.

Hi Alessandra, tell us something about you
Hi, my name is Alessandra, I am 25 and I come from a little town, Isernia, which is part of a small region, Molise, in the middle of Italy. I grew up and I studied there till my University degree, in Communication Sciences. After that, I decided to move abroad for a while, to improve the languages which I have begun to study at the High school. Furthermore, during my university years, I deeply approached the art of photography, which I liked since I was a child. Actually, I have been always fascinated by the Image, in particular the portrait, the close-up, sometimes very close-up: I loved to observe the people, to look them into their eyes, their static gaze, scanning each wrinkle. On the contrary, in the real life that was almost impossible for me, since I was too shy and I couldn’t stare back at somebody. But at the same time, I desired to deepen my passion. Therefore, I planned to move at first to England: London, Manchester, and to remain there, perhaps, with the aim to attend a photographic course and to take pictures every day, every instant. I took part even to some art exhibitions, followed by personal projects. However, at one time, my path changed.

Lecce Old town

You mean, your passion for the photography moved to the background?
Well, my devotion towards the photography remained, but the priority was another one. Once come back to Italy, I moved again abroad, but this time to Germany, Frankfurt, where I lived for about one year. The first approach with German language was shocking. But then I easily improved it also thanks to my old studies. I also got a job as a teacher of Italian and according to this, I rediscovered the love for my mother language: the perfection of the Grammatik, the musical sound of the words. This important experience allowed me to understand better what I would do in the future. Now I am in Italy and, between a job and another, I read a lot (at least one book per week, if I can) and I study italian linguistics, hopefully to teach. As I have already maintained, I have a great bookishness: I go from Tolstoj, Dostoevskij, Thoreau, Heinrich Böll, Virginia Woolf, Salgado, Borges, Szymborska to Murakami, Philip Roth, Italo Calvino, Quasimodo and many others. Of course, I can’t mention all. Finally, I would say that I am honored to collaborate with Fabio for his amazing blog. Through it, you can not only know better the Puglia, but you can also go into the soul of this wonderful region.

I know that you know very well Puglia, what do you like more of this part of Italy?
My family and I arrived to Puglia, indeed to Salento, two years ago. However, my thoughts about this region started earlier, exactly some month before the hot summer. Well, I actually discovered the Puglia thanks to my mum, who extremely and madly loves the sea and the hot weather. If she could, she would live forever in front of the sea. Moreover, she is a poet, thus she needs inspiration to write; so she likes to go exploring magical and meaningful places. Her research was detailed and endless. My sister and I were used to see, from morning till night, my mum researching on internet. The previous years, we went to another beautiful region, Calabria, so we expected to go there again. On the contrary, she finally declared: “This summer, we will go to Puglia.” In effect, the real travel begins with words. Then the images, the sounds, the people bring the right meaning. The meet with Fabio happened the second year we went. As usual, through several researches, my mum found out Fabio’s blog and sent him some e-mails, included some of her poems. From Porto Cesareo, where we stayed the first summer, we moved to Torre Lapillo (where Fabio has his estate agency), Punta Prosciutto, Torre Colimena. But our will to travel was never enough. Thus, we have driven around Salento, exploring new cities as Otranto, Ostuni, Gallipoli, Lecce, Santa Maria di Leuca.

Some of the best places of Puglia …
We have left our heart in those places. We met lots of sensitive people who showed us a new way of life, their authentic values. Everything there has got something ancestral and, at the same time, quite: the beaches, in some period almost empty, the clear sea, the red ground, the natural food. But what mainly impressed me was the strong sense of identity and the deep devotion to the land. We learnt so much from these people, even to say some word in salentino, the dialect of the place. The strong sense of life, the importance of the roots, the patience, principles which I have observed in every single person I met, have also changed my personal perspective towards my same country. Therefore, I feel thankful with this land and I don’t exclude that in the future I will move there, to feel finally at home.

Thank you, Alessandra. And: welcome on board!

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