Skip to content

The Heart of It

When we moved to Martina Franca for good, we knew what we would find. We’d been coming here for years and years, sometimes for a few months at a time. We knew our neighbors, where to buy mozzarella and which nearby beaches have the best sand and the shadiest parking. We chose this new life with our eyes wide open. Read more

Making Our Way

We’re not out of the woods yet. After a brilliant, blue sky morning that brought our town’s residents to the piazza to revel in the bright sun, dark clouds rolled in yesterday afternoon with wind and rain aplenty. While winter has been pretty mild in Puglia this year, it isn’t ready to give up its hold, so we’re still dodging rainstorms and scirocco-fueled gusts from the south. Read more

Briganti

Our understanding of this little corner of Italy comes slowly and often in unexpected ways. Sometimes we’re baffled by behaviors we thought were based solely on cultural difference. Now we’ve come to realize that history is deep and memories are long here. This shared history continues to shape contemporary behavior, especially in a place where change is experienced slowly and often with great trepidation. Read more

La Palestra

After the holiday excess, ARCI Martina has become my home away from home.

After the holiday excess, ARCI Martina has become my home away from home.

Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the Epiphany have all come and gone, but the wretched excess we encountered at the Pugliese holiday table lingers on. And in our case, it’s taken the considerably less appetizing form of excess weight. Now that January has rolled around, we’ve said “arrivederci” to seasonal delights like purcidd, cartellate, pettole and pasta al forno and all of its cheesy goodness for the time being. But considerably more desperate measures are required. It’s time to go to la palestra (the gym). Read more

A Golden Day in Martina Franca

Just one of Susan Van Allen's books, "Letters from Italy."

Just one of Susan Van Allen’s books, “Letters from Italy.”

Several months ago, Susan Van Allen, an author and fellow Italophile asked me to contribute a post to her “A Golden Day in . . .” blog. Susan, who comes by her love of Italy honestly from her southern Italian immigrant maternal grandparents, has developed a series of blog posts centered around providing would-be visitors with an idea of what it’s like to spend a perfect, or “golden” day in specific Italian locales. Susan’s blog reads like a preview of charming coming attractions; you’ll want to visit every single one of these enchanting towns. And since our turf is Martina Franca, my golden day begins and ends here. Read more

Come Si Fa

Artisanal spaghetti from Benedetto Cavalieri in Maglie, Puglia, is come si fa la pasta in Italy.

Artisanal spaghetti from Benedetto Cavalieri in Maglie, Puglia, is come si fa la pasta in Italy.

We have come to understand that most Italians we know are not particularly burdened by uncertainty. Firm ideas about come si fa (how it’s done) are routinely offered on a staggering range of topics. From child rearing to olive harvesting, there is little room for doubt here on the correct approach. Confusingly, though, the correct approach varies widely depending upon the advice giver. So we stagger through our days in a valiant effort to make sense of this wellspring of well-intentioned advice, secure only in our conviction that we routinely fail to grasp Italian come si fa in so many fundamental ways. Read more

Bye Bye Befana

A surfeit of Santas compare notes on their Vespas, the sleigh of choice in Italy.

A surfeit of Santas compare notes on their Vespas, the sleigh of choice in Italy.

Just before lunchtime on this chilly Monday in January, our town’s streets are filled with family groups bundled in fleece from head to toe, men in winter wool caps and scarves huddled together on benches or in conversational packs and teenagers roaming the old town streets clutching cell phones and giggling. On a typical Monday, children are at school, most adults are at work and only a few elderly men gather in the piazza. But this is not a typical Monday. Today all of Italy celebrates the Epiphany, marking the last day of the month-long Christmas season here. January 6th is a national holiday that sends everyone into the streets to revel and rejoice before it all comes to end. So we joined the festivities to bid farewell to all the fun before we settle in for the quieter winter days to come. Read more

Comfort and Joy

Neighboring Alberobello's trulli quarter is ready for Christmas.

Neighboring Alberobello’s trulli quarter is ready for Christmas.

Christmas is little more than a week away and our little town is hopping. From living nativity scenes that re-imagine village life at the time of Christ’s birth to the somewhat less charming Villagio di Babbo Natale  (Santa’s Village) in our town’s main square, our wintry air is charged with the electricity of the season. And all this activity reminds us of what we cherish most at this time of year: a sense of community and belonging that we’re slowly but surely building here. Read more

L’Immacolata

Made of cartapesta or papier-mâché', this larger-than-life statue of the Virgin Mary is paraded through towns all over Italy on December 8th.

Made of cartapesta or papier-mâché’, this larger-than-life statue of the Virgin Mary is paraded through towns all over Italy on December 8th.

Despite outliers who try to get a jump on the holiday commercial frenzy, the Christmas season in Italy officially begins with l’Immacolata on Sunday December 8th, the day when Catholics celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. And what a beginning it is. We’ve noticed that almost everything here happens collectively, so it feels as though everyone has been given permission to, well, party. Read more

Ritual

Our Italian Thanksgiving table doesn't look so different from the American version.

Our Italian Thanksgiving table doesn’t look so different from the American version.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the turkey excess lingers on in the form of soup, sandwiches and an especially inelegant hash. It seems that smallish turkeys are almost impossible to come by outside of the Christmas holidays here, so we’re awash in the detritus of an 18 lb. bird. Since we were a mere seven for dinner, our leftover creativity is sorely tested already. Read more

Italy... and Me

food. italy. wine. books. travel. genealogy. get.the.idea?

My Sardinian Life

photography, expat tales and short stories from a wandering waitress

Married to Italy

Big city Texan girl meets small town Italian boy. Chaos ensues. (My expat blog stories - both funny and tragic - about loving, dating, living with, and marrying an Italian man in the province of Reggio Emilia.)

Zester Daily

Just another WordPress.com site

Nancy Harmon Jenkins

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Not Just Another "Dolce Vita"

A different point of view on travelling, living and loving Italy.

Here in Puglia

My experiences of everyday life in Puglia

Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life: passionate about food & wine | random moments | and travel

News

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Over a Tuscan Stove

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Eater SF

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Eater PDX

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Food

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Serious Eats

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Chocolate & Zucchini

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Bon Vivant

Life's simple pleasures

Culinate Main Feed

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

stylishmews

A resource and running commentary on stylish London

Puglia Kitchen

sapori, profumi e visioni culinarie made in puglia

Cantine Menhir

News from Salento... where the sun warms the spirit, water refreshes the mind, food whets the palate, land feeds the soul, and the wine... awakens the passion.

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Food Politics

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

smitten kitchen

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

A CUP OF JO

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Orangette

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

101 Cookbooks

We begin a new life in Italy . . .

Personal Puglia

by Caroline Edwards

Italicious

The 20 breads of Italy and beyond

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 687 other followers

%d bloggers like this: