The weather has been glorious here for the last couple of weeks and it is now warm enough to lie on the beach in a bikini though the water is still very cold. There have been a spate of last minute holiday requests from people desperate to get away from the lousy weather elsewhere but , although some have made it, the flights to Puglia often get more expensive at the last minute, rather than cheaper so, in an ideal world, you want to be booking at least three weeks ahead.
The market is full of succulent strawberries and spring vegetables such as broad beans, peas and wonderful ‘french’ beans. The tiny cherry tomatoes are starting to get the sweet intense flavor and vibrant red colour missing from the pallid alternatives available year round from supermarkets.
Recipe of the month for me is one of my favourites, pasta with tiny tomatoes, French beans ‘fagiolini’ and, in an ideal world, cacioricotta, though you can substitute pecorino if necessary. See the recipe here http://bit.ly/11hx7je
Unlike the Salento, further South, which is more used to foreign visitors, one of the problems in the area of Puglia where I live, between Bari and Brindisi is that a lot of activities are not accessible for non-Italian speakers, unless pre-booked for a minimum number of people, which seems great pity.
I am excited to be making headway on a new initiative that will make winery visits, cooking lessons, boat trips, guided tours and a wealth of other activities available to anyone visiting the area, at a reasonable price. It is a slow process but it is taking shape gradually and by the middle of May we hope to have a summer calendar full of interesting things to do and places to visit with English language support. These will be posted on www.personalpuglia.com and are designed for people who want to join in with an organized activity in a small group rather than organize their own private itinerary.
The end of May should also hopefully see the publication of my new e-book guide to the area between Bari and Brindisi – nothing like multitasking! Updates on both of the above will be posted on our facebook page www.facebook.com/perfectpuglia as will an exciting opportunity to come to Puglia as our guest.
As promised here are this months special offers:
Villas (see www.personalpuglia.com for pictures and specific details on each villa – we have finally persuaded villa owners to let us publish prices which will be going up imminently – email us for details via the website in the meantime)
All villas: 15% off any May availability
Trulli Dragone (the perfect rural retreat, with pool, for families, sleeping up to 10, within walking distance of a village) 30% off June and 25% off July availability – 1700-1875 euros a week
New to our collection of recommended villas is a glorious villa in Matera, on the Puglia/Basilicata borders (see photo). We can offer 20% off all June availability there as well. Email for details
Hotels: 10%off any Don Ferrante bookings made before May 12th for any date in 2013
If you would like your own copy of our monthly newsletter sent to you by email from next month onwards sign up on www.personalpuglia.com (scroll down to bottom of home page). If you have a holiday villa, bed and breakfast or hotel, and would like to be included in our newsletter, get in touch but bear in mind we have a rigorous selection process.