Puglia Know How | Holiday Like a Local - 5 Top Tips

By BigGayPugliaPodcast | Jan 9, 2021
Europe > Italy > Apulia

Benvenuti in Puglia - welcome to Puglia

Whether you have come to sightsee in the Valle d'Itria or to relax on one of Salento's pristine beaches, you still have time to sample our culture. Here in Puglia most of us live in medium to small sized towns. So we are a friendly bunch.

Go to one of our sagre food festivals. These are intensely welcoming social occasions where you are as likely to feast side by side with locals as with strangers. If you are travelling by train or by bus, start a conversation. We love to talk, and visitors are always welcome. Or get a haircut. But even if that feels too involved, try the following. It really will add value to your holiday and your experience of Puglia.

1. Buy Something from The Local Panificio, Caseificio or Pastificio and Say “Buongiorno”.

When we enter the local baker, cheeseshop, pasta shop - even the doctor's waiting room - we will typically greet everyone, wishing them a good day. The shopkeeper and their patrons will say “buongiorno” back.

2. Wake up And Smell the Tomatoes

Buying from any of the many daily fruit and veg stalls on the streets will leave you in awe not only of the variety of tomatoes on offer - each has its own culinary purpose - but also the incredible scent that they will have.

These aren't just any tomatoes, these are Pugliese tomatoes.

3. Go to “il Bar” and Order a Coffee

Ask for un caffè. As a non-local you will probably be asked if you want an americano or espresso. Look them in the eye. With a smile, as if surprised, say “normale”.

You'll be given a shorter, blacker and stronger than your usual espresso. Offered with some water, still or sparkling, which you should drink before (rather than after) your coffee.

Most Italians drink their coffee standing at the bar. Feel free to do the same, even if you don't understand their conversation. It's not because your Italian is bad but because they will normally be speaking in dialect.

4. The Evening Starts Early...

In Puglia we usually say “buongiorno” (good day) until around 2pm, but from then you are likely to be greeted with good evening - “buona sera”, and you should say the same.

5. ...But Dinner Starts Late!

Most restaurants don't start their dinner service until 8pm. If you want to blend in like a local don't think about eating out until at least 9pm. The only people to be found eating out before are typically British and northern European visitors (including, sometimes, northern Italians).

Buone vacanze.

Apulia Europe Food Italian Italy Language Learning Local Experience Market

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Written by The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia
We are the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia, an inclusive travel blog and podcast about life, culture and travel in Puglia. Curated by young people living all across our region all year round we live and breathe Puglia. That’s why we see Puglia in 360°. Welcome to our Puglia. Welcome to our home.

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