Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Travel Convention to Promote Puglia..

Each week we have been viewing Sunday in Italy with Yle, in Lecce, Italy.  
This week Yle is returning from a large travel convention in Milan.   Even after a busy week out of town, Yle found time to tell us how she spent Sunday!

Let's step into the local shops in Lecce, Yle's favorite places to buy the freshest items for Sunday lunch with mamma Anne and her family.     I can almost smell the wonderful  aromas coming  from the stove, see the table spread with all my new "Italian favorites".  So let's hurry with our shoping so we can get to mamma Anne's........

Next week Yle, can you take us to the bar for una cafe?  All the many choices, so little time.....
SUNDAY:  among fascinating places and a magical atmosphere
By Ylenia Sambati

It has been a very busy week..oh mamma mia..  1. Spring tour to finalise for a group of women who contacted me for a tailored travel experience:   a 50th birthday to celebrate on a vespa scooter and fiat '500' car, amidst olive trees, white-washed walls and amazing country houses to explore 
2.   an international tourism fair (BIT) I attended in Milan for the announcement of an educational workshop tour for travel agents and tour operators interested in the Puglia Salento area.    “Buy Salento”,  will take place in September,  to discover the area and meet professional local tour agents.   
Our Puglia stand was literary overwhelmed by visitors from all over the world so curious to know .  more about this appealing destination in Italy.     In addition to the beautiful videos and images displayed all around them,  there was a gorgeous team of Puglia chefs and sommeliers cooking during the fair  and introducing our great wines.
Most of all, what impressed me most were the warm smiles of the local folks presenting their gems with such  enthusiasm and a joy that it was really a pleasure meeting them and to learn more about their stories.
BACK IN LECCE;
As soon as I arrived to Lecce in the morning (it was cold and foggy in Milan..sunny so sunny in Lecce), where my brother collected me at the railway station,.  We went to a central bar – which opens very early even on Sunday morning - to have breakfast (fare colazione) together.  We will meet each other later on at mum’s house for the Sunday lunch.  



A quick shower and off to say hello to my horse and breath some stunning fresh air, surrounded by the beautiful colors of the nature that is very much similar to a blooming spring than  mid February weather. The scenery was unbelievable around my horse and me and the sun was shining giving some of the most beautiful panoramas. It was calm, it was rustic and it was very sweet. I could smell the aromas of the countryside.
Today I wanted to shop for fresh cheese and joined my friend and cheese maker Maria who makes a wonderful fresh cheese called ricotta and “primo sale”. I was very lucky because she was there, so that I could say hello to her and have a fun talk on my travel to Milan.
Before heading to my mum’s house I had an “apperitivo” with a couple of friends in the main Piazza of my town and took the chance to sit in the sun and enjoy some delicious appetizers with them. We needed to meet and update on so many things!
Lunch was amazing as always......everybody was excited to tast the fresh cheese I bought and I immediately put it on a beautiful big dish.  Presentation is very important on our tables.   We like decorating cheese with arugula or fresh salad leaves and little round shining red tomatoes.  There was  also an inviting traditional dish called “” (White Broad Beans and Chicory) on the table..and for those who would like it to make our way, here is the recipe:
300 gr white broad beans (dried and shelled), extra virgin olive oil, 300 gr of wild chicory, a medium onion salt. The broad beans have been soaked in salted water overnight. Then you should drain and put the beans with some slices onion in a glazed clay pot covered with water. While cooking it, remember to often stir with a wood spoon until it becomes a puree. Meanwhile, cook the chicory in abundant salted water. Serve them together and season with olive oil.
Coffee was served with some chocolates my mum’s received from a nephew who had visited her during the week..but my sister in law had also made a delicious cake with yogurt and blueberries. She pretended it was light…and that was a big excuse for all of us to have a big slice!
After Lunch:
I received a phone call from a friend of mine inviting me to join him for a photo tour among Lecce old palaces on board  his fantastic classic car “Isetta”.
As a matter of fact taking pictures early in the afternoon in the historical centre with the stunning light of the leccese golden stone (pietra leccese) allows you to make really beautiful pictures imbued with a soft and warm atmosphere.
Much to our pleasure we met some other friends and decided to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in a book store where they serve a big variety of afternoon biscuits and where you can also listen to some lovely music.

For dinner I am going to make a focacia. The dough is rising and I will season it with tomatoes, extra virgin oil, basil and a pinch of salt with some great complimentary local wines.






After such a busy week, this Sunday was simply beautiful. I could not have asked for more. 



See you next Sunday (domenica prossima) for another beautiful day to spend together.

Baci!      
                       Yle










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