“I saw Salento and I don't regret it”
Salento: “Doorway to the Orient”, land where in each corner there is an elusive “levantino” (eastern) flavour. Everything is a mystery, freed from the rest of the peninsula. And yet we are – almost -- still in Italy.
Local characters and ambiance are, to say the least, surreal and arriving all the way down here one truly has the feeling of a land without time.
“Welcome to the land of slowness”
… is what I would write in capital letters under “Arrivals” at the Brindisi Airport.
It’s a therapeutic land where whoever is under stress forgets everything and immerses himself in the “Salentitudine” of the place.
Should you ask a Salentine friend to get together the following day, he’ll answer: “Ci ‘ole Diu” which in local dialect means “Inshallah”: you will realize how close we are to the Orient!
A land full of surprises where it is impossible to be bored, each small town centre has its castle, its baroque church, its untouched square as well as its historical centre, and moreover the patron saint holidays with the wonderful decorative lights that illuminate the town as though it were day: one of these celebrations takes place every two days with music groups playing from the large wooden gazebos called “Cassarmoniche”.
A land full of many other surprises, where the hospitality and good food don’t have anything to do with the professionalism of the hosts but with the level of satisfaction that they have serving their guests; and where the basic local ingredients are able to give a strong personality to each dish, a place where even the seaweed perfectly closes a seafaring dish.
Nothing here is perfect, in this land that still doesn’t know the meaning of “cosmopolitan democracy”, but which always conveys a feeling of heartfelt hospitality.
We are undoubtedly touched and fascinated by an innate kindness, by now lost in other places.
It is a truly special place, to be experienced firsthand.
Esmeralda Faraone Mennella