“The desperation of the people of the south does do wonders”. I present Peppino Montanaro.

For some years the destiny often leads me to Taranto, a city that knew how many, especially for the known events linked to pollution. Why interested in and write about a land that some have called not my? The answer is simple: because they are Italian, and as such I believe. I am fortunate to live in one of the countries among the most beautiful in the world. A nation with a rich cultural heritage, food and wine, and an area that boasts the highest biodiversity among the countries of the old continent.

A coastline of over 7.000 km. A forest area of ​​more than 10 million hectares with 12 million trees, one third of the land area. Thanks to the variety of habitats and dell'aree weather we have over 55.600 animal species. We are a nation with 17 million hectares devoted to agriculture, an industry that generates quality products at the Made in Italy guarantee. (Source State Forestry – data 2014). Investing on fishing, agriculture and tourism, is the only possible way.

My conversation with Peppino MontanaroThese are the thoughts that I did with Joseph Montanaro during our meeting. It, after listening to me, by careful person what is, I replied: “You know Cynthia, desperation of the men of the south does do wonders“.

Maybe we need miracles, o forse, above all, we need people who believe in the territory and where you can go back to believing. L’Italia, Whether we like it or not, is made by the Italian, Players are we, The match is open. The important thing is that the institutions put us in a position to compete, and go back to being successful.

Joseph Montanaro, Peppino, è nato a Massafra l’11 novembre del 1940. An employee and a contractor marked by creativity. A man caring environment that has decided to invest with his company Kika Turismo e Cultura S.p.A.. (Kau, The first word spoken by his son Philip) agriculture and tourism. A concrete commitment visible in the recovery of architectural complexes rural location, such as the Grande Colonial Accept, The Cottage Mallet Canon,  Masseria L'Amastuola, Cottage and the Holy Cross.

With one hundred and sixty acres of land Amastuola transformed in Crispiano, in the Regional Park 'Land of the Ravines’ in the province of Taranto, agricultural land is no longer productive in a vineyard-garden. Waves of parallel rows of vines interspersed with islands in twenty-four thousand five hundred olive trees from well.

A project signed by the artist and landscape architect Fernando Caruncho, research in an area of ​​archaeological and historical interest under the supervision of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Puglia, supported by the Centre for Archaeology of the VU University of Amsterdam. This research led to the publication of the book by Gert Jan Paul Crielaard 'Greeks and natives in the Amastuola'. The Region of Puglia, in 2010, awarded the realization of this project calling “Good Practice for the Protection and Development of the agricultural landscape, also for tourism”.

You may wonder how I came to him. The answer is simple, who accompanied me knows me and the kind of people I love to meet, and with which confront. Peppino Montanaro, with his experience and his experience, confirms my belief for the success of projects.

The family first. The wife Rosaria and her children Ilaria, Donato and Filippo, with their spouses Joseph, Anna Raffaella and were and are the real push that allowed him to go ahead. It’ that arises from them the strength to overcome the hard times. The family, for those lucky enough to have, by way of their work and offering allowing you to build a 'nest’ in the darkest hours.

Creativeness, inventive and tenacia. Before meeting, I listened to his son Joseph along while I was talking to a man from the South who, With Giuseppe Doors, son Peppino starts and activates the Companystarting their own business in 1984 Kikau with aluminum frames, at a distance of eleven years has transformed the company into a joint stock company with investments in targeted sectors in the territory. Some projects have been carried out, as for the Cantina Amastuola, and some are in progress after the acquisition of Masserias in the recovery phase. Program in tourist accommodation, promotion of the territory, editorial production, developing activities for the sale of handicrafts and agri-food.

Businesses are made by people. Essential element for the growth of a company is the quality of the relationship with its employees. Peppino was also discussed in this. Much more than employees, people to work together making the team for the achievement of good results. Alone is not going anywhere, together we build.

Innovation and respect for the environment. Adottare pratiche sostenibili a tutela di sé stessi e del territorio è prioritario. The technology and research are crucial to the quality, provided that they meet the natural characteristics of the products. This is the policy of Amastuola. One example is the use of the Scholander pressure chamber that, for the benefit of the grape, intervenes with irrigation only when needed and at the same time prevents waste. Following this line of thought always, is used a recycled glass bottle light, and a screw cap made of aluminum, RICICLA materials of 100%, with a special membrane within which ensures the proper micro-oxygenation of wine established by the Department of Food Science of Udine.

The sense of belonging. Believing in the territory and recognize part of it is essential to pass it on to those who visit. If I sincerely believe in something I can pass on my passion to share the enthusiasm. That day I heard.

At the end of our chat, before saying goodbye, I made a request to Peppino: I asked him to display the flag of Italian farm in plain sight. This to me, I believe in people working together for a real change, would be an important sign of belonging. Abroad, it is a custom, in Italy it is only during sports events. I know that many do not feel represented because they see in it the state institutional. Matter of point of view. To me, the flag represents the land and the people working Italian. I do not know if I will satisfy Peppino, for some promised me that we will think seriously.

I wrote about my meeting, as I usually do, as I have lived knowing the territory and the people. Peppino I felt particularly close to the sharing of thoughts and lifestyle. Today I feel closer to him and his family. A few days, after a long illness, his wife Rosaria let. She is part of his plans, and this will continue to live in those lands.

www.amastuola.it –  www.turismoecultura.it

Video by Sabrina Merolla, producer and host of GOOD WIND

The call of my spirit Southern

I love to listen to nature, maybe that's why my spirit is felt most southern south, where intensely perceive his calls. I was nineteen when I realized, I met Puglia, love at first sight.

A region with a coastline of 800 km, the longest and most varied of Italy. Long beaches alternating with rocky cliffs, calette, pine and juniper forests. There are two National Parks: one of the Gargano and the Alta Murgia. Tre Aree Marine Protette: Torre Guaceto, Tremiti Islands and Porto Cesareo. Sixteen State Nature Reserves and eighteen regional protected areas. A biodiversity to preserve and protect.

Torre Santa Sabina

Torre Santa Sabina

It’ in this land that I spent my last vacation, between Bari and Brindisi, Taranto.

Mine is a busy life, passed between nature and knowledge discovery. The truth is that when we love what we do, no different than the time spent between work and holiday, perched something non esclude other.

Torre Santa Sabina

Torre Santa Sabina

In those days I saw old friends, and I have met new. Many emotions, as the day on which, in the sea of ​​Taranto, during a sudden storm boat ride made me realize how much can be loud and boisterous sea.

In those moments I saw the fear, but also the courage of a woman, Aurora, who introduced me to his side as well as the sensitive and delicate, decided and determined that a woman who knows how to react to problems.

Pier St Eligius (Marina Taranto)

Mare in burrasca – Pier St Eligius (Marina Taranto)

After the storm I have not had to miss the Friselle seawater prepared as once did the fishermen Salento.

Friselle seawater

Friselle seawater

Along with Catherine, I met a woman who casually strolling along the beach at Torre Santa Sabina, I visited places that have long wanted to see. After talking for a long time, encouraging me to get off the rocks for a swim, a single recommendation: “Cynthia, this place alive with the spirit of the South.

Our tour started in Polignano a Mare, a picturesque village perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. Many remember him for being the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, I remember especially the poetry of its landscape.

Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare

A glimpse of Polignano a Mare

A glimpse of Polignano a Mare

The cliff of Polignano a Mare

The cliff of Polignano a Mare

While traveling I like to share thoughts and photos on the net. It’ so that people who follow me in my itinerary, as well as send the warmth and nostalgia of the countries that have been forced to leave, advise me and direct me. A more intense way to live the journey.

Thanks to the information Emanuela comment in a photo, Polignano I tasted for the first time the granita with whipped cream and coffee 'Supermago Frost', an ice cream shop in the historic founded by Joseph Campanella 1935.

Iced coffee with cream and Supermago Frost

Iced coffee with cream and Supermago Frost

The next stop was in San Michele Salentino, in the province of Brindisi. A country where young people want to vent their poetry with real 'attacks poetic’ written on the walls.

Attacks poetic in San Michele Salentino

Attack poetic in San Michele Salentino

poetic Attack

Attack poetic in San Michele Salentino

poetic Attack

Attack poetic in San Michele Salentino

After the poem the story. A Brindisi, as in all the towns in Apulia, there is much. Here I visited the Duomo and Columns, alte ben 19,20 meters, symbol of the city and the end of the Appian Way.

The Cathedral and the Pillars of Brindisi

The Cathedral of Brindisi and the Pillars symbol of the city

This is the Land of the Ravines. The friend Rosana Tinella introduced me to one of Mottola. A ravine consists of a series of caves carved into the rock, which houses three stone churches full of graffiti High Middle Ages.

Gravina di Mottola

Gravina di Mottola

Between visits, and the other I have not had to miss a dish of orecchiette and dragged married in tomato sauce with fresh ricotta cheese, accompanied by the traditional slices of watermelon. Catherine told me that this mix of different size dough is prepared together on purpose for a better outcome of the dish.

Strascinati married and orecchiette with tomato sauce and fresh watermelon

Strascinati married and orecchiette with tomato sauce and fresh watermelon

We could not miss an evening dedicated to Pizzica. A very old traditional dance of Salento which refers to the movement that gave relief to women plucked from the tarantula, Salento term to indicate the tarantula.

The Pinch

The Pinch

There are shows that nature has to offer and that you can not lose…

The sunrise in Torre Santa Sabina

L'alba Torren Santa Sabina

Sunset at Specchiolla

The sunset in Specchiolla


The clouds tinged with pink in Torre Guaceto

The moon in Carovigno

The moon glints of silver in Carovigno

If I close my eyes, the mind and thoughts go out to the land. I miss its trulli and its white houses, its sea, rocks and wild shores. I miss the olive trees, the red earth, the chirping of crickets and cicadas. I miss the scent of fig trees burned by the sun, flowers with bright colors, the stone walls and the sound of the wind ...

Trullo in San Michele Salentino

Trullo in San Michele Salentino


Specchiolla, Carovigno

Olive grove in Carovigno

Olive grove in Carovigno

Flowers of Brindisi

Flowers of Brindisi

Flower caper

Flower caper

Corallo at the Molo Sant'Eligio in Taranto.

Coral at the Pier St Eligius in Taranto. Effects of changing temperatures that make you think…

Flowers of Brindisi

Flowers of Brindisi

Flowers of Brindisi

Flowers of Brindisi

The plant of butterflies

The plant of butterflies

Dry stone walls

Dry stone walls

Laterza, the land of the Ravines, Bread and Olives

The Gravina di Laterza, a canyon of extraordinary beauty who recently, during the visit of’Farm Bell friend Paolo Barberio, I had the pleasure of visiting. A deep incision in the province of erosive Taranto which is spread over a length of 12 km, with a depth of approximately 200 meters, and an average width of 400.

A place that left me breathless, and I have experienced sitting on the ground listening to the wind with an eye to its immense limestone walls. Surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, I lived those moments in deep meditation. Maybe it's because I'm a few years on an accelerated journey with myself. I think it's looking for that silence to rest in peace, and that is only found living in contact with nature.

Carry the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, Monaco and poetic buddhista vietnamita.

I like to walk alone to the country lanes, between rice plants and wild herbs, placing one foot after the other with care, aware of walking on this wonderful land. In those moments, that there is something magical and mysterious. Usually we think that it is a miracle to walk on water or in the air. I believe instead that the real miracle is to walk on earth. "

The Gravina di Laterza

The Gravina di Laterza

A special protection area referred to as Site of Community Importance “Area of ​​the Ravines“. The only place in Europe where nests Vulture, the smallest vulture whose name derives from its propensity to feed on the remains of cattle. A raptor present from March to September wingspan of about 170 cm.

During the seasons, there are many plant and animal species that inhabit this wilderness. A succession of colors and scents that, is not the avete occasione, I recommend you visit the following different paths accessible to more.

E 'in this area that comes the extra virgin olive Paul. A production from organic farming in the heart of the land of ravines that continues for generations.

A juniper tree five hundred years - Farm Bell

A juniper tree five hundred years – Farm Bell

Laterza is not only known for the Ravines and olive trees. Its bread, produced by bakers laertini, is renowned for the quality of which is guaranteed and protected by the Consortium of the same name.

Following an ancient ritual, is baked in ovens heated with wood aroma that gives it unique characteristics.

A recipe handed down from generation to generation that allowed the town of Laterza to join the association City of Bread.

Bread Laterza

Bread Laterza


In Italy there are about 7450 km of coastline, but the fishing is dying. Someone explains it to me?!

Until a short time ago I was involved in the organization and optimization of resources, actually I still am, because I apply these principles in everything I do.

Today my challenge starts here.

In recent months I have been in Taranto, a Crotone, and Pozzuoli, Fiumicino ... well I've been in places of the sea, but especially in places dedicated to fishing. To better understand this area, I tried to approach trying to organize an exit night with fishermen, to follow their work, to understand talking and living with their. Unfortunately, the mistral is not favored me, repeatedly blocking my plans.

I am a hard head, some would say a hothead, in fact they are a passionate and idealistic, and do not give up easily. Precisely for this reason I have continued to deepen the topic to understand .... I did it in Naples, of Taranto, Crotone and in Fiumicino. I stopped and talked with them, some were wary, while others, after realizing my real interest, I explained.

People fought, dashed, tired, almost gave up on the state of things, people to listen to. I am well aware that the difficulties of everyday life is very different than writing and talking about.

I love my country and its people, talking to them live on the territory, of the nord sud. I support the passion and enthusiasm, even if it is sometimes put a strain on the disappointments. But it is a matter of seconds, because just a shoulder to 'make me act and react’ the only way that I: People listen to me and interpreter of the voice of the people, one that works, i veri Italiani.

That said step to step, because I want to understand ...

  • In Italy there are about 7450 km of coastline, but fishing is dying. Something is wrong, something I can not understand, especially in a time of crisis like this, that optimize what we have left should be a priority issue. Someone will define boring, even talkative stressing continuously, in what I write, the same concepts.
  • In Italy, the fashion, Tourism, l’agricoltura, fishing, food and wine are the leading sectors, and as such should be favored the most of their paths. Unfortunately it is not so. I still do not understand ...

These are hot days, days of deep crisis. There is no mention of other games that powers salaried politicians from Italy that works, that if I remember well! I do not want to talk about their, mi logora, mi la bharti, I find it useless and frustrating. I want to talk about our productions, of Italian, their hardships.

I reiterate an important number, our own wealth and as such should be valued. We have 7450 km of coastline, but fishing is dying.

They tell me that in Mazara del Vallo in recent years by 380 vessels have been left 80, Fiumicino seven years ago there were 45, now there are 25, Crotone is happening the same thing. The fishermen are on their knees. It is destroying one of the most important economic.

They tell me that in late September for a month there will be a biological rest for the repopulation of the seas. A still for trawling though this concerns only the vessels. Do not stop the small fishing. But I ask, is really small? Once a small fishing nets used a meter and a half high, now come to 12 meters. Once they stopped to 3 miles into the sea, now stop at 10…

Why not stop all, and not a per mese, but for a year! And then, because they allow outputs 14 ore in mare! Should be allowed a maximum 8 hours! These are the words of the fishermen, those who love the sea, those that do not exploit.

Their first problem is the high cost of diesel, the second is the bureaucracy and institutions that do not help them as they should, the third is the illegal ...

The wheels of life, shoemaker to restaurateur in a trullo in Martina Franca.

Peppino is fond of saying… “Com dsc u cor toq”

Peppino, first shoemaker and then restaurateur. It all started in 1969 when, inheriting a trullo not far from the center of Martina Franca of Taranto, decided to take his wife with a catering business based on home-style cooking, typical of the area.

The 3 last June they celebrated fifty-six years of marriage. From this union three children were born, two of whom work with him actively in the local family, the 'Trattoria of the Wheels'.

I have known Giuseppe Ceci, Peppino, in a summer evening not too long ago. I have brought friends after a walk in the beautiful Martina Franca, elegant city with a rich history in the heart of Valle d'Itria. The Prof.. Piero Marino remembers it well:

“QVarious UI Scheduler e barocco " titled in June of '97 magazine 'Bell'Italia' about the old town of Martina Franca. It was the class of gentlemen who, in the second half of the eighteenth century, he decided to make his economic power visible by starting a process of restructuring and embellishing the old courtyard houses’ (small masseriole in country), which were the residences of the lords.

The country becomes, as if by magic, in an authentic museum widespread: portals Baroque and Rococo, embellished with scrolls and caryatids, Corinthian capitals and little satyrs, dot the streets of the town. Bellied and elegant wrought-iron balconies peep from the top of buildings. The interiors of the residences are decorated with frescoes in the halls for the reception, to amorous encounters, a small musical concerts.

It was time for dinner, and the desire to spend an evening in a local restaurant and rich history has made the choice fall on a Trattoria ones that I like, those with a capital T, those where the atmosphere is warm and welcoming…

With Peppino are entered immediately in tune. As I listened to his stories I watched the expression on his face typical of the men who lived with passion, between work and many sacrifices. Actually I missed something, but only because its close to talk in tarantino has not allowed me to understand everything.

That Peppino was a life of great passion for the land, for food, but also for the history. When he realized that my interests were similar to his, me 'literally taken by the hand' leading me to visit his museum. A rich collection of historical artifacts that have made me lose track of time until, called for dinner, I joined friends at the table. That night was really tiring for me to sit ...

Not only Angelo, his son, I spoke to him. I also did another Angel, in this case his nephew.

Cynthia, my uncle is a single man, a tireless worker lived in the name of sacrifice and respect for others. His sympathy is contagious. He is a humble man who transmits serenity, a good example for all of us. I remember a few summers ago , when, in the restaurant of his uncle Peppino was staged a wonderful show, as unexpected and sudden, one of the best memories of my life.

ERO to dinner, sitting at a table in front of the trullo with a couple of my musician friends Veneto. In the unique atmosphere, with the cicadas in the background and under a starry sky, we happily tasted all the good things that sweet aunt Graziella had prepared. My friends were excited and happy to have discovered the Puglia, both for cooking and for the art. All of a sudden they decided to give us something in return for. They asked for a guitar that we got in about a half an hour ... and here's the magic! They started playing giving life to an unexpected concert. We all sang at the table, and very slowly the other patrons approached us to form a single chorus of voices and applause.

Under that moon everything seemed surreal… We went on for hours, until late at night, because no one wanted to leave, no one wanted to break the enchantment that the music had created. It 'a precious memory that I lived in a magical place. My friends were the guitarist Marco Anzovino and the singer Marnit Calvi.

I also do not forget the evening passed them… Saying goodbye Peppino told me: “Cynthia, the rumaste cuntente?"My answer was a smile, decisis and whether!

Mussels arraganate to Taranto

Recipe: “Mussels arraganate to Taranto”

Over time I learned to experience the cities you visit walking slowly, day and night, looking at the views of the hidden, and the moments of real life…

A few nights ago, in the beautiful and picturesque Taranto, I watched the fishermen employed in the shuffle of their boat. I listened to them while cheerfully exchanged jokes with each other. To tell the truth I knew a little something, Read a little ... at least I think 'here what they were saying:

“Catà, quann’u marit arriv’a quarantina, lass’a mugghier e s’n ve a cantina, quann’a mugghier arriv’a quanrant’ann lass’u marit e s’pigghi’a Giuann.”

I translated it means: “Cataldo, when her husband arrives at forty neglects his wife and goes to the cellar, then his wife at forty you just have to be a ... John”. La saggezza popolare eh😉

Every time I stop to watch, I think fra me and me, what I want to live for one night the real life of the fishermen on a fishing boat. Sooner or later I'm sure I'll do it. This is now my life, the beautiful life that I have stolen my heart…

For now I'm happy to sample their catch. Here I report a very simple recipe that I tasted typical Tarantino Restaurant in Old Bridge, a beautiful night with a unique atmosphere ...

Mussels arraganate to Taranto

Start by telling you that "arraganate" mean in Taranto “gratinate”.

Therefore, purchased mussels, I'd take it to cars because I love them!  I recommend, however, they are beautiful fresh!

Once you open them to clean raw, predisponetele and a half shell on a baking tray.

Then prepare the dough for the filling, mixing well in bread crumbs with olive oil, in this case Pugliese, and it's good I recommend! Unirea's pepe, parsley, and pecorino cheese to taste (no sale).

Once mixed well together filled with mussels, and move the pan in the oven for 10 minutes of a 220 degrees.

La mia amica Maria Palumbo, tarantina DOC, recommended as an alternative, for those who love to feel the full flavor of the mussels, not to add the cheese ... Tastes are tastes! 🙂

I I tasted with the cheese ... I assure you, a treat!

The Production of Black Mussels Tarantine is the oldest and largest in the world.

The Tarantini implanted, and consequently taught to most of the world the cultivation of mussels. Those of Taranto, recognized also for the shape, have now become saltier because it is grown in the Great Sea. In fact, the Vera Cozza Taranto is that of the Mar Piccolo, area currently impractical for pollution. (cit. Mimmo Modarelli)


Ponte Vecchio Restaurant

Piazza Fontana, 61, Taranto


Vuoi avere tutti i post via mail?.

Aggiungi la tua mail: