“Puglia is…Puglia,” says Francesco with a twinkle in his eyes. He’s not able to put into words his feelings about this beautiful region—the place where he has spent half of his life, and to which he still regularly returns.
Indeed, Puglia is difficult to describe. It is the impossibly blue sky, the centuries-old gnarled olive trees, the red iron-rich soil, and the bright sun of the Italian south. It is also the crusty bread of Altamura; the bitter chicory that is the backbone of so many Puglian dishes; the sweet ripe tomatoes that make all other tomatoes pale in comparison; and the rich, almost purple, Primitivo wine that tastes like pure sunshine. It is also the warmth of the Puglian people, the openness with which they welcome you into their shops and homes, and the emotion with which they talk about the region that has been their home for centuries.