Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, has suddenly become fashionable. Tourists are discovering its olive oil, wine, landscape, food, art and culture.But unlike some other Italian regions, Puglia is perceived asmore authentic.
Thanks to my experience in Puglia due to the organization of an educational tour promoted by the Regional Agency “Puglia Promozione” and organized by C.I.BI. — ConsorzioItaliano per ilBiologico — within BIOL International Prize held from 21 to 24 March in Ostuni,  I discovered beautiful olive orchard landscapes, excellent cooking, old traditions and ancient culture.

I spent four days near Ostuni(in Brindisi province), combining love and passion for olive oil and honey through sensorial analysis and long walks between the Mediterranean vegetation to discover the treasures of the natural park of coastal dunes.  A small treasure of biodiversity made of plants, trees, reptiles and birds typical of the wet lands. We made a walking tour among “Costa Merlata” coastal area, to discover orchids, and wild herbs to use in the kitchen. Tour continued slowly on small roads lined with stones with drystone walls, rarely visited cattle track and unique landscapes. We visited Valle d'Itria, an area famous for its gentle hills, fertile land, historic towns and Trulli– a type of traditional conic shaped house. And more: we discover the beautiful“White City” of Ostuni with its tiny lanes and breathtaking views over the valley on which stands a carpet of ancient olive trees. If you drive off the main roads and on to the country lanes, Trulli are sometimes all you'll see. And during our bus tour is to be mentioned also the  Archaeological and Natural park of Santa Maria di Agnano, 2 km from Ostuni on the road from Ostuni to Fasano. Inside one of the caves of the park was discovered a skeleton later called «Delia», today commonly known as «Ostuni 1»: its the skeleton of an 8 months pregnant woman of about 20 years old, dating back 26,000 years. Along with these remains were also found funeral kits, a shell necklace, a headpiece and many other items 

We also stopped in different “Masseria” — a historical type of farm that has been  in some cases transformed into excellent restaurant where you can enjoy typical dishes. These ancient homes, hidden in gardens of aromatic herbs, have a story to tell and their terraces offer breathtaking views.
The Masserie we visited (Masseria De Michele, MasseriaNobiliTradizioniPugliesi, and MasseriaSansone) are typically surrounded by large olive groves where centuries-old trees produce fine extra virgin olive oil.

Last but not least I was pleasantly impressed with the guided tour of Ostuni, one of the most typical and most representative towns of Puglia. The beauty of Ostuni is a particular mix of peculiar characteristics, such as its traditional white houses — reminiscent of a Oriental model of the town, its stratificationin accordance with the various periods of its historical growth, its architecture in harmony with the surrounding landscape made of olive trees that reach the blue Adriatic sea. A magic combination that has made Ostuni one of the must-see locations in Puglia and one where to spend a wonderful holiday.
Additional info on the BIOLMIEL can be found on www.biolmiel.it or required by email to [email protected].


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