Are You Dreaming of Italy? #WeAreInPuglia


Lisa Niver biking Pista ciclabile della Liguria 2016

I used to travel to Genoa to see my friends every year—except due to COVID I have been in Los Angeles since March 9, 2020 which if you are counting is now 400 days. Visit Puglia shared these treats to encourage me to dream of my return to Italy!

For a marvelous Monday, smell the perfumes of AquaPulia  

In 2017, pharmacists and fragrance creators Maria Elia Perta and Paola Azzarone started AquaPulia to tribute their homeland’s unmistakable scents. The academic years in Rome and Bologna pushed them to cultivate and deepen the shared passion for galenic formulation, the ancient Greek discipline of preparing and compounding medicines using multiple ingredients. It’s the meeting with fragrance designer Claudia Scattolini that initiates Maria Elia and Paola into the world of perfumes and prompts them to create AquaPulia. Based in Vieste, the company has a small laboratory where essences turn into sincere exaltations of the world-renowned Apulian landscapes, history, and culture. While engineers Agostino and Matteo Silvestri are in charge of AquaPulia’s structural design, the two co-founders constantly experiment with essences in pursuit of a clear vision: Fragrances are an extraordinary vessel to crystallize memories of places and situations in people’s mind and soul. The Adriatic sea that roars to the Mistral and speaks of ancient fishing machines; centuries-old olive trees, sanctuaries, and fortresses; enchanted forests, dry stone walls, and expanses of wildflowers. Every story the land, sea, and air of Puglia is captured in the distinctive notes of the AquaPulia perfumes. 

Tormaresca, Minervino Murge

For a terrific Tuesday, savor the olive oil of Olio Intini

About 20 acres of olive groves nestled between Alberobello and the Itria Valley make up the kingdom of Olio Intini. It is one of the most prosperous and fascinating areas of Puglia, where strong diurnal temperature variations and the typical, rich clay soil contribute to giving oils great structure and exceptional phenolic compounds. The strictly family-run olive business breathes life to a wonderful variety of cultivar, each of which boasts unique peculiarities and constitutes the base of the eight Intini labels. Amongst these, Cima di Mola earned the company the prestigious Presidio Slow Food for its strenuous commitment to protecting and voicing the true colors of this Apulian region. Biodiversity, faithfulness to the land, and genuine passion make Olio Intini one of the most awarded companies in the world for the premium quality of its oils.

Bari Photo by Carlo Elmiro Bevilacqua

For a wonderful Wednesday, sip Puglia in Rosè

The Puglia in Rosé Association is the first-of-its-kind organization of Apulian rosè wine producers.  Headquartered in Bari, the Association works in synergy with local wineries and institutional partners to safeguard and promote Apulian rosè wines in the global market. Thanks to exceptional pedoclimatic factors and a long-standing tradition of winemaking that traces back to Magna Graecia times, Apulia is the main Italian producer of rosè, and one of the finest in the world. This story of excellence gems from family-run small businesses that have decided to give back to the beauty of their native land by investing in it, and devoting their life to sharing Apulian wines with the rest of the world.

Puglia in Rosè has made it its goal to intercept the ever-growing demand for premium, sustainable wines across the globe by activating several commercial and educational operations, including promotional events, conventions, wine tastings, and trade shows, and financial missions both within Italy and internationally. 

Vendemmia Photo by Giuseppe Tricarico

Central to Puglia in Rosè is a respectful and harmonious bond with the territory, which is at the heart of producing exceptional organic and biodynamic wines. While the former is the result of a philosophy based on the relationship with the land, the latter takes into account the impact moon phases have on the life of the vines and the grapes. This enhanced care results in the total absence of chemical substances and sulfites in the production process, and wine enthusiasts becoming more and more enamored with Apulian rosè worldwide.

Trani Cattedrale Photo by Franco Cappellari

For a tasty Thursday, taste Bio-Orto and Panificio Di Gesù

Bio-Orto: The tenacious character of the Passalacqua family traces back to the mid-1900s, when grandmother Giulia and grandfather Pietro would still drive cattle from the mountains down to the Tavoliere delle Puglie following the centuries-old noble, stout art of ‘transumanza’. The transition from nomadic herding to sedentary agriculture came naturally. Dedication and hard work allowed them to purchase the fertile soils that are still home to BioOrto’s production of vegetables and fruits and extend as far as the eye can see. Since its inception, the company was already a mature organization pursuing farsighted ideas that dad Nino was able to put into perspective, and that still inform his children Giulia and her husband Mirko, Tiziano, and Nino Jr. in their strategic roles. It is precisely this harmonious combination of genuine family attachment to tradition with a resolve for research and innovation that has made BioOrto a premium household name in Europe when it comes to organic fruit and vegetables.

Panificio Di Gesù: Ciacche se mange josce? Tre cause andiche; scuèrze, pèjne, e meddiche.

What are we eating today? Three ancient things: crust, bread, and breadcrumbs.

This Altamura idiom is the emblem of a city and the history of an ancient oven: the Forno Di Gesù.

Uncle Luca, born in 1934, would hop on his bike and bring the bread to the prisoners of Camp 65. He baked it himself in a small home-made oven, as it was customary at the time. Wheat was still considered a luxury good only a few could afford and was transported by the ‘trainieri’ (specialized delivery men) from the countryside to the city mills for grinding. Back in the 1930s, each household had its grain storage and would bring the precious cereal to the local mill for grinding roughly every two months. With the flour thus obtained, the bread dough was kneaded at home and carried to a community oven for cooking. Here, bakers shaped it into the characteristic crossed cut (called ‘scquanète’), and marked each loaf with the initials of the head of the family.

Capitolo Photo by Leonardo D_Angelo

For a fabulous Friday, let art steal your heart with Ceramiche Carella Ostuni

It was the early 1970s when the Carella family came to realize that ceramics were more than mere kitchenware commodities: They had an innate potential to be refined furnishing elements. That’s precisely why they inaugurated the first showroom in Ostuni, the Città Bianca, featuring a collection of various masterpieces and ceramic artifacts that would later be exhibited throughout the US. In 1977, the family challenged the common logic of the time. Driven by Nonno Peppino’s tenacity and desire to dream, they resurrected the tradition of the terracotta whistle by organizing the first-of-its-kind National Trade Fair of the Terracotta Whistle. In the following years, they started promoting conversations about design and involved local craftsmen in helping them create the eponymous lines of ceramics and whistles. In the 2000s, during an important phase of growth for the business, thanks to Antonella’s sensibility and Angelo’s determination, Ceramiche Carella Ostuni began producing ceramics in their own production laboratory. It was the first in the Città Bianca and it is, to date, the only one. Every day, the lab witnesses a magical process: Water, earth, and fire give life to ceramics through the sheer passion the team pours into their craft. In recent years, Marco has joined his parents Antonella and Angelo in managing the company, supervising communication, quality control, and customer relations. As Marco puts it, “To us, crafting and selling ceramics is the truest way to tell our story, and reveal our beloved Puglia to the world through one of its most excellent traditions.”

Feel the fabric of Holystic t-shirts

When launching Holystic in 2016, co-founders Bodhi (designer and ‘creativity pusher’) and Dan (‘biodynamic’ business hunter) had a clear vision: They wanted to elevate t-shirts from ordinary garments into sensory vehicles that allow the wearer to embark on an adventure through the unconscious. Bodhi and Dan’s five-year journey around the world takes them to South America and Asia to research myths, trends, symbols, and archetypes that stimulate the soul in different cultures. Realizing the power of sight, smell, and touch (the three most ancestral senses) in unlocking the inner self, they conceive Holystic as a harmonious synthesis of opposites: Female and male, spirit and matter, good and evil, mundane and religious. More recently, the creative team has welcomed Annalisa and Visavì, who continue to implement the company’s visionary concept of hearty and sustainable Made-in-Italy luxe. Holystic T-shirts are entirely made of fine bamboo fiber sourced from the most pristine areas of the planet, where its cultivation takes place without pesticides, fertilizers, and resource waste. Because bamboo plants boast a higher-than-average photosynthetic index, their fiber provides excellent breathability and thermoregulation. Also, all t-shirts are designed to be 100% biodegradable and antibacterial, while protecting the skin from UV rays, like precious jewels that embellish and shelter the body and soul. 

#weareinpuglia #pugliaPromozione #regionepuglia

Mattinata Baia delle Zagare Photo by Paolo Petrignani

When the borders open and it is safe to travel, I will see you in Puglia! Ciao and Grazie!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

One response to “Are You Dreaming of Italy? #WeAreInPuglia

  1. I can’t wait for the borders to open. Puglia looks like a fantastic destination with great food and drink, sea kayaking, and historical towns with quaint cafe’s

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