Passa Parola
"Passa parola"
translated literally
means "pass the
word," and it can also
be translated as
"word of mouth,"
which in our opinion is
the best kind of travel
information. Our
friend and Puglia tour
guide Maurizio
Cafagno suggested
the name for this
page, with the goal of
providing objective
insider information for
people traveling to
Puglia. We welcome all
suggestions for
information to be
included here. Let's
start "Passa Parola."
Look closely at the center of this photo
of a portion of the facade of Santa
Croce Cathedral in the historic Old City
of Lecce and you can see the profile of
a man with a large nose. It's the
sculptor himself, who had a little fun by
placing his face in a spot where he
knew he would be seen for centuries.

(Thank you to Silvia Puzzovio,
our friend and Lecce-based tour guide)
Here's a hotel suggestion from
Maurizio Cafagno: The Hotel
Corte Altavilla in Conversano.
Maurizio writes,
"I'd like to
suggest Corte Altavilla, a very
special hotel in Conversano, a
medieval little city just few miles
from Bari and in a strategic
position for all itineraries."

Jeff and Veneranda add: "We
had a very enjoyable stay at
Corte Altavilla in July 2008.  
Letizia Valenzano and the entire
staff made us feel very welcome.
The accommodations, the food
and most of all the people made
our stay very special, and we look
forward to returning soon. Our
room was Suite No. 6, visible just
above the lamppost in the photo."
We asked Silvia Puzzovio, our
friend and Lecce-based tour
guide, to provide an
introduction to her city:

"Situated in the centre of the
Salentino peninsula, Lecce is the
capital of the province.

"The historic town centre is
enriched by splendid Renaissance
and Baroque buildings: twisted
columns, corbels, balconies and
portals projecting from
magnificent facades of churches,
monasteries and baronial houses,
are finely carved in the local stone.

"St. Oronzo Square and its Roman
Amphitheatre, the Basilica of
Santa Croce and the Cathedral
Square are some of the
monuments of remarkable artistic
value and historical cultural
interest which are certainly worth
The fabulous Baroque dream:
fantastic embroideries on the
pliable Lecce stone.
The Roman amphitheater in Piazza S. Oronzo in the center of the Old City.
More information
From Jeff: "Tesori a Sud-Est"
("Treasures of the South-East"),
founded by natives of the Region of
Puglia, is a new tourism venture
showcasing the various artistic,
architectural and historical treasures
to be found in Puglia, with emphasis
on the foods and wines to be
discovered throughout the region.
Initially, the group plans to offer a
10-day "South Coast" food-and-wine
itinerary that begins in Bari and ends
in Otranto. Watch for the launch of
the Tesori a Sud-Est website and for
details about the new tour program.
We wish the founders well in this new
Puglia-based tourism venture.

The planned itinerary begins in Bari
and ends in the port city of Otranto
(shown in the photo), near Lecce.

Photo by Cleto Bucci/
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