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The first thing you did when you arrive back in Mesagne and when you got up in Mesagne?

A wonderful meal with my hosting family on my late arrival.  The next day I made it a point to visit the lovely people who own the fruttivendolo, the fruit and vegetable store.  Getting to know them was one of the highlights of my first trip to Mesagne and then I visited the Centro Storico, the historic center, to breathe in the centuries old atmosphere of the place.

What advice would you give to a tourist?

At first glance, Mesagne may seem like a sleepy town, but there is actually quite a bit of vitality here, and two examples of this vitality come immediately to mind.  First, on Sunday morning if you take a walk to the park in the center of town you will find it filled with people of all ages.  It is a delight to watch the young families with children playing on the playground equipment, or the older children playing basketball or soccer.  And don’t forget to sit on a park bench to engage one of the old men sitting there in conversation. I have learned much about the history of Mesagne by doing so. Second, Mesagne is transformed late at night on a Friday or Saturday.  If you walk in or around the Centro Storico at 11:00 PM, you will find the streets filled with strolling people, and all the restaurants and bars will be filled with people sipping caffèamaro or a delicious gelato.

If you had to be locked in a building overnight, which would it be?

castello

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I guess it would have to be il Castello.  What an amazing building with a rich history. The local tour guide arranged by Michela, the owner of l´Acanto School, to show my wife and me around the castle. She was a wonderfully enjoyable and knowledgeable young woman who helped the castle and all of the Centro Storico come alive for us.  A highlight of our tour was the photo that she took of us in the medieval style “phone booth.”

Best place for a romantic dinner in Mesagne?

It would have to be in a Trattoria nel Centro Storico.  Their antipasto is unlike anything I had ever experienced.  It is a meal in itself, comprised of at least a dozen little dishes prepared to order and served one at a time as they become ready.  Each one is a morsel of a typical regional dish, served by one of three different and friendly waiters.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

Two things come to mind.  I would order flyers to be sent out to every school, library and travel agency in the world alerting people to the beauty of this gem of a city hidden in the heart of Puglia, and I would be sure to include a link to the “Happy Mesagne” song video.  Second, I would declare a feastday to celebrate the people of Mesagne.

Earliest Mesagne memory?

The first day we spent in Mesagne. I decided to do a little exploring.  I went into town and sat in the park to observe the older men sitting on benches and having animated conversations among themselves.  It reminded me so much of the conversations older men have in the Italian American neighborhood in which I grew up.  I enjoyed watching the children playing and seeing the people strolling by.  It filled me with gratitude to be sitting there in the land of my ancestry.

If you could buy any building in Mesagne, which would it be?

I guess I would buy one of the houses in the Centro Storico.  It is the heart of Mesagne, so to live there would be to wrap myself in the richness of the centuries old history and tradition of the place and close to the enoteca, a lovely wine bar, Michela brought all the students there one evening and we had a very enjoyable time.

What is your favourite Apulian discovery?

All the quaint and wonderful towns in the region:  Alberobello and Locorotondo, Pollignano a Mare, Monopoli, Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli to name just a few.

ulivo puglia mesagne

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In addition, Lecce is a beautiful city with wonderful examples of Baroque art and architecture.  Moreover, the many miles of seacoast are spectacular, and the Adriatic coast is so different from the Ionian.  Finally, I have fallen in love with the ancient olive groves.  Each tree is unique and magnificent in it’s own way, standing like a sage with deep wisdom to impart if only one would sit with it in quiet and solitude.

Best advice for students of Italian?

There are many Italian language schools in Italy.  I attended two of them before finding l’Acanto.  Michela is an excellent instructor and the other schools also had excellent instructors. Nevertheless, I have attended classes at l’Acanto two years in a row and I intend to return because of the quality of the relationship that Michela and her family offered me and all the other students as well.  Having good relationships is important to me and I truly feel like I have a family in Mesagne.

 by Donato, student @ lacanto.it in Mesagne, Puglia

school of italian puglia

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What is rosa (pink).

Rosa is a ribbon hanged on the front door to announce a girl’s birth.

Rosa is a chick book un romanzo rosa or some gossips on a tabloid cronaca rosa.

Rosa is the rose quartz or a learner’s permit il foglio rosa.

Rosa is the traditional Italian female name.

Rosa is part of the Italian idiom which describes the Italian positive approach to life il futuro è rosa.

Rosa is the lovely song by Lucio Battisti Con il Nastro Rosa.

Here in Puglia, rosa is the colour of primavera, announced by the peach trees blooming at their best.

Book your spring break in Puglia!

lacanto.it

lacanto.it

Learn Italian idiomatic expressions, traditions and colours

Verde (green) is a free telephone number, numero verde.  Verde d’invidia is an envying person but sono al verde when I am broke.

Azzurro is the Italian light blue to describe the sky and the sea and the title of a famous Italian song by Adriano Celentano. Azzurri is our national football team while Principe Azzurro is our Prince charming and finally azzurro is a ribbon hanged on the front door to announce a boy’s birth.

Rosso (red) is the wine at the restaurant. Rosso is used to describe passion and love, rosso fuoco (flame red/ bright red) is also your flashy new car and probably, your bank account will be in rosso after that. But tonight, before going home, buy a lovely pesce rosso (gold fish) for your son.

Giallo (yellow) is a  girasole (sunflower) but also a book (detective story) or a film. Giallo is definitely a story with Inspector Montalbano. Giallo is the colour of mimosa (the acacia flower), a traditional Italian present to women on the Woman’s Day.

lacanto.it

lacanto.it

Bianco (white) is your wine at the restaurant (always pairing with fish in Italy) but  mangiare in bianco is what you do if you don’t feel well (eat plain food).

Nero (black) is  for una giornata nera, when everything goes wrong and most probably after a gatto nero (black cat) jinxed your day.

by Michela, teacher & director@ lacanto.it in Salento, Puglia

Early bird offer: book now your Italian language course and get 10% discount

Read more by Michela:

Volare, cantare…and learn Italian pronunciation

Puglia coast to coast

Study Italian in Mesagne, Puglia

Frisa on my mind

Ten things to do in Puglia

 

 

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Ciao, the adventure continues! Destination: sea … Saturday: Gallipoli and the Punta della Suina, mar Ionio!

I enjoy the beauty of the crystal colors and the enchanting sea of Gallipoli with the famous beach Punta della Suina.

Gallipoli, known as the “perla dello ionio” (pearl of the Ionian), was besieged in 900 AD by Saracens, which gives the town plan.

With its port, the typical fish market, the castle and the Old Town, it has been beset from the fifteenth century by the Turks, Venetians and Aragonesi, but it is always more and more fascinating by its natural and monumental beauty.

gallipoli

italiahomestay.com

I walk and admire the typical environment of a port city: the port, the fish market for fresh fish and I enter in the historic center

italiahomestay.com

italiahomestay.com

I remain dazzled by the wondrous castle and the many narrow streets with typical restaurants and shops selling local cuisine.

But Gallipoli is not only beautiful for that! Gallipoli is fascinating because it is as if the sound of the sea would evoke you among the many churches and monuments … just like a siren. It is a so nice and relaxing city  you’d never leave.

italiahomestay.com

italiahomestay.com

Punta della Suina, also on the Ionian sea is one of the most famous areas and the sea is very beautiful. The sand is fine, including a silvery and gold color and the beach is surrounded by rocks eroded over the centuries.

The landscape is very characteristic and just look at the many shades of sea water to run out of words!

And with a few hours in the sun, I enjoy the first taste of summer and…. un gelato!

Arrivederci…by Maria, Italian host tutor in www.italiahomestay.com, Lecce, Puglia 

To be continued…

Italian courses in Italy:live & study in your teacher home- follow Maria 

Read more:

Escape to Salento: first day 

Dreams come true in Lecce

Magical white Puglia

Pettole, a traditional Italian recipe

Diario di un’insegnante

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