🍷 Tom’s blog is replete with tempting tales along the Italian Wine Trail! I have asked him to share about the Salento sub-region of Puglia, his new home in Italy, and a favorite region of mine…won’t you join us?
Savoring the Salento
In a previous life, back when I punched the clock and earned a bi-monthly paycheck, I used to travel frequently on business, departing my home up in the Veneto for the sun-drenched Salento, the Greek-influenced area within Italy’s lengthy Puglia region down in the southeastern corner of La Penisola. And, with each passing visit it became just a bit more difficult for me to close the briefcase and return home…
Back then, the pull of the Salento, that carefree spur jutting out from the Bel Paese‘s stiletto-shaped heel, was strong, very strong. So much so, that now, almost 40 years after I first laid eyes upon her, I’ve thrown caution to the wind, packed my bags and palate and moved permanently to the Salento to savor her slow pace and slow food, 24/7.
The Salento, where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas embrace, is best savored with a knife, fork and wine goblet as its grassroots la cucina povera (poor kitchen) — the quintessential Mediterranean diet — comes straight out of the “zero kilometer” soil and nearby seas and right onto your plate and into your glass.
In the short time that I’ve been living here, I’ve been pleasantly and consistently surprised by the mouth-watering dishes and excellent wines — bianco, rosso and rosato (my fave) — plated and poured before me.
From the Valle d’Itria to the ancient port of Gallipoli, from Santa Maria Leuca to Lecce, and, from Otranto to Ostuni, not a single bite nor sip has disappointed. And, I’m just getting started in my discovery of this ascendant region within a region.
Respected for its wines and DOP extra virgin olive oil, heralded for its Greek and Baroque architecture, and envied for its long, hot summers and mild winters, the Salento, where the Second Punic War was waged, is the less hectic, unpolished alternative to its more crowded and trendier postal codes up north.
Just one look at a slow-fading, pastel-colored sunset, while enjoying a cool glass of rosato, and you, too, will want to pack your bags, leave your cares and worries behind and bolt for the Salento.
Visit Tom on The Palladian Traveler. With his turn of phrase and tempting photography, you’ll savor every morsel of his informative and delicious journeys.
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