The region of Puglia can be neatly split into three zones; the flat north plain and Gargano, the heel known as Salento, and the iconic central zones of Bari and Brindisi.
Italian Traditional carnival biscuits recipe from Putignano in Puglia.
The symbol of the Carnevale di Putignano is the mask of Farinella. The name derives from a dish called 'farinella' or 'povele' in local vernacular.
This ancient food from peasant tradition is made with chick pea flour and roasted barley and enjoyed with sauces or fresh figs.
550g of butter, 350g of sugar, 500g of chick pea flour, 500g of barley flour, 4 eggs, 2 egg yolks, grated lemon and orange peel, cinnamon, milk.
The Carnival of Putignano in the province of Bari is fast approaching its 625th edition and they are proud to claim that theirs is one of the oldest and certainly the longest in Italy, if not the world. Experts have pinpointed the date of the first carnival to the 26 December 1394 and, while it finishes as many others do on 'martedì grasso', the celebrations start on this same day with the tradition of 'Propaggine'.
The territory of Leuca, the very tip of Puglia, the so called heel of Italy, is characterised by stones walls, straw stacks and secular olive trees.
These are powerful images made all the more evocative by the smell of origano, thyme, wild fennel and the salty sea.
Spectacular beauty which can be taken in with a round trip of the following towns and hamlets.
Start in Cagliano del Capo where the roads are squeezed between the sea and the bare sun drenched rocks before arriving at the promontory of Ciolo.
Here you can admire a series of gorges which head deep inland. They were natural shleters for the first primitve inhabitants of the zone, in particular the Cipolliane and Prazziche coves or caves.
Monopoli sits tranquilly overlooking the Med much as it must have done when it was part of the Marine Republics of Amalfi and Venice between the 11th and 15th centuries. It is not diifficukt at all to imagine how it must have been 500 years ago.
Head straight to the small port, or Molo Vecchio, where the traditional fishing boats still shore up for the night and marvel at the recently restored 'golden' walls of the castle which contrast spectacularly with the blues of the of the sea and sky. This and the surrounding fortifications date from 1552.
The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Route 'Collina di Brindisi' needs little clarification. If you are looking for an itinerary to discover the extra virgin olive oil of the province of Brindisi in Puglia, then you're on the right track.
The Presepe Vivente or Living Presepe of Tricase in the province of Lecce, south Puglia, takes place every year on the hilltop of Sant'Eufemia. More precisely in the locality of Monte Orco. After 30 years of activity this nativity scene with real actors has reached such a level of importance for Tricase to nicknamed the 'Bethlehem of Italy' and is one of the oldest eight estalbished presepi in south Italy.