Puglia mon amour – 10 days of pure enjoyment

I have recently returned from a 10 day trip in Puglia, my homeland, where I decided to celebrate my 40 years, surrounded by my family and my loved. Waiting for a new photographic journey, this was a great opportunity to immerse me in the atmosphere, the smells, the sounds and the flavours of my homeland. This time I left home the Leica kit because I’m going to arrange a few of Food Photography sessions, to photograph a bit ‘typical Apulian food and produce new material for sale. For this reason, I have brought with me the Canon 5D Mk III, with 24-70mm f2.8 and 100mm f2.8 macro lenses, which then is that I use more ‘for this kind of photography (see below).

Home sweet home, with my “mamma”‘, the day of my 40 years bday.

Where I come from, all life revolves around food, everything is done in the function of the dinner and lunch, day by day, we discuss what to eat and prepare for the next day. My mother had asked me already for a week in advance, what I wanted to eat for this day .. 🙂

Just landed in the morning, with a Ryanair flight from Charleroi to Bari, after a couple of hours here I am sitting at a table full of wonderful flavours: fresh ricotta cheese, mozzarella, focaccia barese, stuffed artichokes, calzone and much much more, all masterfully prepared from my beautiful mother. And finally, after so many years, I tested again my favorite seafood, the sea urchins … simply delicious!
This, on March 4th, is the day of my birthday, so ‘I can not be on diet, I have to eat everything, even if you I will celebrate my birthday the next day at the restaurant.

And for dessert, the famous “Tits of the nuns”, a soft pastry filled with cream. Wonderful, but a good injection of calories.

This should be enough to convince you to come to Puglia, isn’t? 🙂

Deejay Ten in Bari, run like a “pulp” (octopus, in slang)

The first service for my 40 years now comes the day after, with a run of 10km to the Deejay Ten in Bari, in a windy and cool Sunday in March.  The event is beautiful, 10 thousand people, all with the same desire to run and have fun. Actually, I did not run all the 10km, because while running on the seaside, I was always tempted to take pictures, so ‘from time to time, I stopped to take pictures (with the iPhone), to the fishermen that proudly shows just curled octopus or open up fresh seafood.

The curl of octopus, which consists of repeatedly banging on the floor an octopus to make it more ‘tender and so curling the tentacles, is one of the most’ typical photogenic scenes that you may encounter if you walk along the waterfront of Bari, any day of the week
Tutta Bari in una foto: la birra Peroni, un uomo che apre le cozze crude, il mare.

Celebrating my 40’s

I’ll be honest, I know people use to say so, but really, I feel half, like 20 years old, not 40 certainly. But anyhow, for future reference, I am here to celebrate it in a very good restaurant in Monopoli, with my most ‘great loves: my father and my mother. What else?

Before having the cake, however, ‘we are due to go through FANTASTIC dishes, like this spaghetti with sea urchins, poetry and lust at the highest levels. LOVE

For those who may interest, I highly recommend this restaurant in the beautiful town of Monopoli:

Terrazzamare – not the usual “trattoria”, but delicate dishes and high quality food, other than a very pleasant environment and gentle staff. The owner, a Venetian, is also very friendly and competent.
https://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g652003-d10210325-Reviews-Terrazzamare-Monopoli_Province_of_Bari_Puglia.html

Greetings from Salento

Small parenthesis of my stay in Puglia, a passage in Salento, the southern part of the region, home to my in-laws . The only pictures that testify this passage, concerns the wonderful seaside of San Pietro in Bevagna and a breakfast in Sant’Oronzo square in Lecce with the typical “pasticciotto” (sweet custard pastry filled with hot cream).

Two days of homemade Food Photography session

And after a few days of pure vacation, I am ready to devote myself a little ‘to my loved photography. As I had already planned, I organised a homemade Food Photography session, with two special assistants: my mother (at the lights) and my father (setting and model). 🙂

One of the subjects who I wanted to photograph since a long time and finally managed to do it are the beautiful sea urchins. Their photos are, oddly enough, very rare in the major microstock sites like Fotolia and Shutterstock, and I can not explain why. This is a very photogenic subject as well as very popular in the culinary world, not only in Italy. So much so that at the time of writing this post, after only two days from publications, I have already sold 10 pictures! Fantastic.

In the coming days I’ll post ‘the results of this two-day photoshooting. with more ‘technical details, meanwhile here is the list of your subjects: sea urchins, orobanche (Sporchia), asparagus, beans, artichokes, focaccia barese, dried figs, spring onion, zeppoline (typical Italian pastry with cream filling).

Thanks to this photoshooting, I produced the beauty of almost 600 new images already on sale on the major microstockstock sites!

Chilling in Mola di Bari, my village.

When I’m in Mola, the thing I love the most to do is to walk through the alleys, parks and markets, with no in particular goal, but only to observe everything going on around, the flow of the sluggish and noisy life in southern Italy. Walking in the morning, I come wrapped by the sweet scent of warm croissants and coffee coming out of the doors of the bars, always full and crowded, because here the day always starts in a bar. When I pass I slow down to listen to the speeches of the men sitting at the tables or at the counter: they are 90% on the football, 10% about the local political problems.

Among the alleys instead, I meet mostly women who go to the grocery store, while the little doors send out the scents of what they will have for lunch, and hunger will come already much earlier. And then I have fun chasing all these smells and try to guess the origin, which pasta or vegetables are brewing. When I see two or three women whispering, then I slow down to listen to their speeches that are 90% gossip about family facts or people, 10% of health problems.

In the late morning then, happens inevitably to pass by a local bakery from which comes the scent of the typical focaccia Barese: no one can resist buying a slice, strictly triangular, still smoking, and then eating it despite the opulent lunch you expect to have just a little later …

And finally, in the afternoon, my ritual is always just the same: wait for the boats to come back and bring the fresh fish at the fish market. And here is an explosion of colours, sounds and smells, a familiar music to me, that awakens every sense of my body.

Before leaving, a last greeting to the sea

The last day, I do what I always do before every departure: a solitary walk along the marina bay, to recharge with positive energy that only my sea can give me. I stop for a little to read a few lines of the book by Claudio Pellizzeni, “L’orizzonte, ogni giorno, un po’ più in là” which recounts his amazing journey around the world without taking any flight, after abandoning his comfortable but flat office work. A book full of excitement and interesting stories, the tale of a long journey that I hope I can do it too, soon, very soon…

 

Arrivederci Mola, arrivederci Puglia!

Sabino

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