Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Barese Icemen” documentary to be shown at Calandra Institute Feb. 22

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

 

The documentary “The Barese Icemen of New York” will be shown at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, at 6 P.M.

Produced in 2015, the 80-minute documentary follows the story of the Italian immigrants from the Region of Puglia who from the 1920s to the 1960s dominated the making and delivery of ice in New York City.

Interviews with former icemen and their families as well as individuals who currently work in the ice business shed interesting light on this niche occupation. What was it like lugging 100 pounds of ice up four flights of tenement stairs? Why did this trade remain lucrative throughout the Great Depression? How did many of these icemen transition into coal and oil delivery after household refrigerators became the norm?

Director Carlo Magaletti, himself Barese, looks at these topics in this exploration of how Pugliesi came to dominate the ice business.

A post-screening discussion will be led by Mark Naison of Fordham University.

The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute is located at 25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor (between 5th and 6th Avenues), in Manhattan.

The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by calling 212-642-2094. Seating is limited, and seats cannot be reserved. Click here for further information.

The Calandra Institute is a university-wide institute under the aegis of Queens College, The City University of New York.

Record tourism arrivals in Puglia: region hosts 13% more international travelers in 2016

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Credit expanded international airline service, a larger portfolio of luxury accommodations, publicity surrounding high-profile visitors or an influx of travelers from new source markets; whatever the reason, Puglia is attracting more foreign visitors than ever before.

A report from the Osservatorio del Turismo (Observatory of Regional Tourism) states that international tourism to Puglia is booming, with arrivals of overseas visitors up 13% for the first 10 months of 2016, with stays of at least one night growing 8.4% compared to 2015, as reported in La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno. Vacations in Puglia by Italians from other regions also increased. Gargano and Salento remain the most popular tourist areas, together accounting for 68% of overnight stays, the reports states.

And that’s despite fears expressed earlier this year that refugees from the Middle East would flood Puglia after a route between Greece and northern Europe was closed. At the time, it was feared that as many as 150,000 refugees would find their way to Puglia this year and adversely impact the region’s tourism industry.

When I began promoting tourism to Puglia more than 15 years ago, few Americans had ever heard of the region. Even some Italian Americans who knew that their family roots were “Barese” did not realize that they were referring to the city or province by the same name within the Region of Puglia. I was even kidded for devoting so much attention to such an obscure place. Well, times have changed.

Pierangelo Argentieri, president of Federalberghi Brindisi and regional vice president, tells La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, “It is clear that these data are the result of the increase in flight connections that in the last two years have grown exponentially. Certainly, also contributing were the arrival of big international stars like Madonna or the story of the dream weddings celebrated in the most exclusive farmhouses of Savelletri.” Also, he says, it is no coincidence that the range of accommodations “has increased by 9.7%” in the first 10 months of 2016, particularly in the luxury segment of the market. Also increasing was the number of agriturismo properties (farms that accommodate visitors), vacation homes and apartments and bed-and-breakfast inns.

The Osservatorio del Turismo identifies the “strategic foreign markets” for Puglia as mainly Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, but the region is also seeing an influx of vacationers from the United States, Poland and the Netherlands, as well as China, South Korea, Australia and Argentina. While much of the growth in intercontinental travel is attributed an increase in direct flights to Puglia, Argentieri says the increase in U.S. visitors is also a “stimulated phenomenon from the fallout of (Puglia’s) image in the major international journals.” Also, he says, “It is not to be underestimated that even the settlement of large U.S. companies such as Boeing in Grottaglie which in recent years has resulted in an enormous number of managers who have become the best testimonial of Puglia in their country.”

Even the major tour operators are taking notice. A decade ago, few if any of them offered Puglia packages, citing a lack of interest among travelers and unavailability of quality accommodations and services. Now, for example, the U.S.-based tour operator Tauck sells out its “A Week in Puglia” itinerary priced from $3,990 per person. A variety of other tour operators host trips to Puglia, many of them focused on specialty activities such as bicycling, hiking, history and food and wine. And the region’s official tourism bureau, Pugliapromozione, provides plenty of information to educate travelers about Puglia’s vacation possibilities.

Puglia adopts new standards for certifying tourist guides and tour leaders

Friday, September 30th, 2016

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To further professionalize Puglia’s tourism industry, the Region of Puglia Regional Council has approved new requirements for certifying professional tourist guides and tour leaders. Resolution n.1510, published in the Official Bulletin of the Puglia Region, was adopted at the council’s September 28 meeting.

According to a press release from the Regional Council, those wishing to become certified as tourist guides or tour leaders must:

• Possess a diploma of secondary education of the second degree (five-year) or a diploma obtained abroad that is recognized by Italian authorities.

• Pass an examination in at least one foreign language chosen by the candidate.

• Pass a written test (multiple-choice questions) and an oral examination.

In addition, those who have already achieved the qualification and want to obtain a permit to operate in another language can take the foreign language examination (oral only).

The changes take effect October 11. An application to become a professional tourist guide and tour leader must be submitted online at www.bandiregionaliturismo.viaggiareinpuglia.it by November 10.

Culinary Institute of America to launch Italian Cuisines concentration at ancient castle in Puglia

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

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Press release: Future chefs and food business leaders studying at The Culinary Institute of America can now immerse themselves in an academic concentration in Italian cuisines and culture that includes a 15-week study trip to Italy.

The concentration for students pursuing CIA bachelor’s degrees in management features a semester abroad at the Castello di Ugento, a newly restored 900-year-old castle in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot.” The program begins in January 2017 in collaboration with the Puglia Culinary Center and will be offered in both spring and fall semesters.

In addition to learning about Italian culture, indigenous ingredients and culinary techniques, the CIA students traveling to Italy for the program will participate in “field trips” to markets, wineries and local producers of products such as olive oil and cheese. Each student will also complete a three-week internship at a restaurant serving authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

“In the Italian Cuisines concentration, students will cook and learn within the historical and cultural contexts of southern Italy,” says CIA Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Sperling. “They will interact with chefs, growers, and food producers, and participate in the restaurant culture of Puglia. It is truly an immersion into that region.”

The student “dorm” is a restored 18th century farmhouse in the city of Ugento, a 10-minute bike ride from the castle where their classes will be held. Cooking classes take place in a new 8,500-square-foot environmentally sustainable teaching kitchen within the castle.

The restored Castello also has an area dedicated to teaching desserts and gelato, an “oleoteca” to study olive oil and a 400-year-old wine cellar retrofitted with modern oenology technology. More than 100 varieties of herbs and fruits are harvested from a 300-year-old garden on the property.

“To be a true chef of Italian cuisine, you must master all the different techniques, tastes, and textures of the cuisines of the various Italian regions. The cuisine of Puglia, with its use of vegetables and fish, became the basis for other Mediterranean cuisines,” says Odette Fada, house chef and director of the Puglia Culinary Center. “I am delighted to be part of this collaboration with the CIA and look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for this land and its cuisine with our international guests.”

“This newest CIA education program continues to expand both the international and domestic learning opportunities available to CIA students,” Dr. Sperling says. “The world cuisines concentrations allow students to learn about cuisines in their own terroir. During their semester away from campus, they fully experience the regions from which the ingredients come.”

Photo courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America

Puglia’s Tormaresca introduces 2015 “Calafuria” 100% negroamaro rosato in U.S. market

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
Tormaresca, a leader in Puglia's modern wine renaissance, has officially released a 100% Negroamaro Rosato called "Calafuria" that is now available on and off premise nationally. (PRNewsFoto/Tormaresca)

Tormaresca, a leader in Puglia's modern wine renaissance, has officially released a 100% Negroamaro Rosato called "Calafuria" that is now available on and off premise nationally. (PRNewsFoto/Tormaresca)

APRIL 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ‒ Tormaresca, a leader in Puglia’s modern wine renaissance, has officially released a 100% negroamaro rosato called “Calafuria” that is now available on and off premise nationally. Tormaresca is known for creating wines of exceptional depth and character from indigenous grape varieties.

The 100% Negroamaro for Calafuria is produced exclusively from grapes harvested at Tormaresca’s Masseria Maìme Estate in San Pietro Vernotico in the Salento region. The Negroamaro harvest took place during the first week of September 2015 and the wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel to retain the grape’s natural aromas and flavors. The resulting wine is fresh and vibrant, making it an outstanding example of the quality rosato that can be produced from this estate.

The 2015 Calafuria Rosato Salento IGT has a beautiful peach/pink color with inviting aromas of grapefruit and peach along with violet floral notes. The flavor is fresh and balanced with good acidity. The wine has a nice contrast of savory notes and minerality that add to the wine’s length. The suggested retail price per bottle is $14.99.

In Southern Italy’s historic Puglia region (the heel of the boot), winemaking has been a vital part of life for over 3,000 years. Calafuria is inspired by the warm, sandy beaches of this unique region. This wine evokes feelings of relaxing seaside in the sun, the quintessential Southern Italian summer experience. The Calafuria logo on the label is of a tower with a sea swell; tower (Tormaresca means “tower by the sea”) and sea swell (Cala = bay, furia = fury).

Tormaresca was founded in 1998 with the investment and vision of the Antinori family in Puglia. By investing in the region, the family hopes to reacquaint the world with the quality, integrity and consistency of the wines of Puglia, emphasizing the strength of the indigenous grape varieties. Blending technological innovation with centuries-old vinification techniques, Tormaresca is leading the winemaking renaissance in Puglia. For more information go to www.tormaresca.it.

Binetto Grumo Music Festival Concert March 4

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

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Tauck schedules 13 Puglia departures for 2016

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

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Following a hugely successful 2015 introduction, Connecticut-based tour operator Tauck has scheduled 13 departures of its popular “A Week In…Puglia” eight-day itinerary for 2016 as part of its Tauck World Discovery portfolio. Tours are priced from $3,790 to $4,290 per person, double occupancy. Groups average 24 persons.

Accommodations feature some of the finest properties in Puglia: Masseria Torre Coccaro or Masseria Torre Maizza in Savelletri di Fasano; Risorgimento Resort in Lecce; and Borgo Egnazia, also in Savelletri di Fasano.

Already sold out for 2016 are tours departing on April 22, May 6, May 13, May 20, June 3 and October 14. Availability is limited for the remaining departures on March 25, April 1, June 10, September 2, September 16, September 23 and September 30. In 2015, Tauck initially announced 10 dates, but added eight more departures as the tours sold out quickly, so it’s possible more trips may be scheduled this year too.

Click here for details about Tauck’s 2016 Puglia program.

Map courtesy of Tauck

Puglia’s unique neighbor Matera is called “Italy’s hidden treasure”

Friday, January 15th, 2016

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Although Matera is not in Puglia, but rather in the neighboring region of Basilicata, visits to the ancient city are frequently part of independent and organized group tours of Puglia, so it’s worth reporting news about it here. Its proximity to the city of Altamura, near the center of Puglia, makes Matera easily accessible for Puglia-based day-trippers as well as those wishing to stay longer.

In an online article titled “Why the City of Matera Is Italy’s Hidden Treasure,” the website vogue.com offers a photo essay about the increasingly popular destination, which has been designated as one of the European Union’s two “Capitals of Culture” for 2019.

The article states, “Strikingly beautiful, Matera is poised to become Europe’s next best destination‒so visit before it gets too caldo under the Italian sun.” Well worth seeing if you’re so close by.

Click here to see the entire post.

Photo by Vito Arcomano © Copyright Fototeca ENIT

“Salento tourist district” nearing reality

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

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Here’s a new and interesting tourism-related development out of Puglia’s Province of Lecce: All 97 municipalities that encompass the province, along with an endorsement by the president of the Region of Puglia, Michele Emiliano, have just signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formally establish a “Salento tourist district.”

La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reports that objectives for creating a tourism district include expanding the area’s tourism season beyond the summer high season, improving the shoreline and visitor facilities, developing a transportation network that truly serves visitors and residents alike, and encouraging collaboration among tourism businesses that often compete for customers rather than working together for mutual benefit.

Establishing such a district would have a significant impact on the tourism industry on the Salento Peninsula, the southernmost area of Puglia. First, it would foster increased investments and a formal development strategy.

Second, various levels of government would offer tax incentives to businesses that sign up for the program to cover the costs of retaining existing employees and recruiting and training new employees.

There are a more few steps that must be taken to ensure the district is established correctly before the project can gain the stamp of approval from the Ministry of Tourism.

Click here to read the details about the program.

Photo: The beach at S. Maria di Leuca. © Copyright APT Puglia

Taranto loses bid to be 2016 “Culture Capital”

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

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Taranto, the capital city of the province of the same name in Puglia, and eight other cities have lost to Mantua in their bids to be designated as the “Italian Capital of Culture” for 2016. The designation is awarded by the Italian Ministry of Culture (Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo).

The 10 finalists were short-listed in June. Mantua will receive 1 million euros from the ministry.

According to ANSA, the Italian news agency, “The Lombard city was the erstwhile princely seat of the House of Gonzaga from the 14th to the 18th centuries, and its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.”

The other finalists were Aquileia, Como, Ercolano, Parma, Pisa, Pistoia, Spoleto and Terni.