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The Beauty Of Apulia | Thomas J. Puleo

Why Apulia is my favorite region

Is there an Italian region that is hotter these days than Puglia, or as we say in English, Apulia? I don’t think so. Granted, you can argue that Basilicata is the current Italian hot spot, with the New York Times celebrating it in their travel section as the number three of fifty-two places to go in the world in 2018, and with Matera being designated the European Capital of Culture for 2019, but I think, at least early on, Basilicata’s fire just adds to Puglia’s heat.

This is not meant to take away from Basilicata’s moment in the sun, something that I will have to address in a future piece, but just a way of recognizing Puglia’s special condition that, while notable in the present, has been simmering for centuries, perhaps with a varied richness that compares favorably to Basilicata’s more uniform earthiness.

Where to start? Olive oil, and its successes and tribulations in the region? Bari, and its vibrancy and connectivity, in addition to its own particular challenges? Fave e cicoria, and the spectacular produce of the region that it represents? Like many Italian regions, particularly in the south, Puglia and the pugliesi were vegans before veganism ever became trendy, or even existed as a concept. A recent article in the anglophone press that discussed how vegans might be able to present their offerings in a way that does not threaten the masculinity of potential converts demonstrates how, well,…

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