Archive for May, 2012

Who could do such a thing?

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

A few days ago, a bomb exploded outside a high school in the city of Brindisi, killing a 16-year-old girl and injuring many others. This hits home for me because this school is a training ground for students interested in pursuing careers in tourism. Getting young people involved in the tourism industry is a significant step toward improving Puglia’s economy. What’s to be gained by anyone from targeting and killing children? As this week’s edition of The Economist points out, “It may prove to have been the work of a lone maniac, or the local mafia. But it was ominously reminiscent of the apparently random – and still mostly unexplained – bombings that brought terror to Italy from the late 1960s to the early 1980s…what is certain is that, in a matter of weeks, Italy has become not just a more unsettled place, but a darker and scarier one.” Overstated, perhaps, but not reflecting well on Puglia just as the summer tourism season begins.

“4 singular swimming spots” – and one of them is in Puglia; plus celebrating an ancient olive tree in Lecce

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

I’m always interested to see Puglia get any kind of recognition or publicity on the international scene. Here are two short items:
1. The latest issue of Conde Nast Traveler includes a short feature titled “Taking the Plunge” about “four singular swimming spots.” Besides locations in Hawaii, Mexico and Virginia, the article describes a place called Roca Vecchia, a rocky beach along the Adriatic coast of the Salento Peninsula near the city of Lecce. As the article states, “According to legend, a stunning muse once bathed in this constellation of limestone pools, known ever since as the Grotta della Poesia (Grotto of Poetry).”

2. This week, an ancient olive tree in Puglia was dedicated to U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama for her work in promoting healthy eating, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean diet featured throughout the region since antiquity. The 1,400-year-old tree, named “The Queen” by local people, is in the Province of Lecce. About 25 gallons of oil from the tree will be shipped to the White House in the fall.

Puglia promotional offer for British travelers

Friday, May 18th, 2012

I just saw this on a PR site on behalf of the British tour operator Citalia. I’m not familiar with this company or with the hotel being promoted here, so I’m just passing it on, verbatim as stated by the company, in case you’re interested:

Citalia is offering free nights and savings on travel to Puglia, the stunning Italian Coastal Region

Citalia, the leading Italian specialist, is currently giving customers the opportunity to enjoy a free night and savings of up to £230 per couple staying in 4* accommodation in Puglia, Southern Italy.

Puglia, Italy, a region known for its culinary heritage, rugged mountains and sun baked coastline has just been made all the more appealing by an Offer of the Week travelling with Citalia. Running down the Southern heel of Italy, holidays to Puglia bring out the best in an Italian Mediterranean holiday, with warm waters, excellent sea food, lively ports and characteristic fishing villages. The latest Offer of the Week at Citalia capitalises on all of this, tempting holidaymakers not just with the charms of Italy but also incredible opportunities to save money and create a perfect summer holiday.

A 7 night holiday, staying at the 4* Hotel del Levante is from £649 per person, saving up to £230 per couple. For travel between 27th May and 14th July, customers receive a free night for stays of 7 nights or more. The family orientated hotel is situated right on the shoreline, with its own private beach, 2 swimming pools and beautifully landscaped gardens. The price includes accommodation in a twin front sea view room and half board to set up a memorable holiday to Puglia.

From the hotel, the opportunity to explore the wider Puglia region is a convenient one, with the fishing village of Torre Canne a short 5 minute drive away, and from there the wider region including the ‘White City’ of Ostuni and the grottoes of Castellana which are great for adventurous holidaymakers. Inland away from the coastal settlements, Puglia is known for its wooded mountains and distinctive countryside full of Olive Trees and sweeping plains. With such variation and diversity, the Hotel del Levante offer is an excellent example of the tailor made Italian holidays that build upon Citalia’s extensive knowledge and long standing expertise in travel to Italy.

For further inspiration on a range of Italy holidays, from popular Italian Lakes to Florence and Venice holidays and Italian islands, contact Citalia on 0844 415 1956.

It’s already summer in Puglia

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Judging by the temperatures recorded over the past few days, it’s already summer in Puglia – and it’s only May 1. The newspaper La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno is reporting temperatures throughout the Region of Puglia in the mid to high 80s Fahrenheit (high 20s Celsius) with predictions of even higher temperatures in the days ahead. (If you’re reading Italian websites to keep track of the weather, Rick Steves, the TV travel host, guide and guidebook author, teaches “28 equals 82” as a quick and simple guide to temperature conversions.) Despite the still-chilly waters, beaches in the provinces of Bari, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce and Taranto are crowded with city dwellers and travelers alike seeking a break from the heat so early in the season. It is also reported that crowds are heading to cooler weather in some of Puglia’s mountaintop religious shrines, including San Giovanni Rotondo and Monte Sant’Angelo, both in Foggia province.