Put away the sun parasols and the sun cream for another year is the rather dismal headline in the paper this morning. Our sun parasols actually went away on Monday before the strong southerly winds hit but it seems summer is over for another year.
However Puglian Tourism have announced that every Thursday evening in September there are wine tours to be had for free. It is part of their Open Day programme which I posted about some months ago. I’m not sure if anyone from there reads my blog but I did mention that is might be an idea to have a website in English and that finding these out of the way cantine ( cellars) was more than difficult, in fact almost impossible.
Well team they have now put up a website with an English language option and wonder of wonders the tours are now on a free bus from selected town centres
This is the site here and you just have to hit the flag at the right of the page. You need to phone a number and register your interest in a tour and it appears if 20 others do likewise the tour goes ahead but if not hard luck. The tours aren’t as numerous as the site suggests especially in September and are quite hard to find but this is an huge improvement on the site they threw up in June with only links to the various cantine who in turn put maps of the whole of Puglia on their own site with an arrow pointing to an area the size of Reading ( town in Berkshire UK) .
Puglian wines are becoming increasingly well known and loads of articles have been written about them like here from the Wine Enthusiast. Unfortunately she rabbits on about seafood and I’m amazed the incredible but fictitious fish place in Seveletri isn’t mentioned. However I don’t think wine tasting is a sport that can be only practiced in the Summer. Nor is learning to cook Puglian dishes and nor is looking at Baroque architecture and museums . Imagine no tourist going to the UK because it might rain or be cold.
It disappoints me to hear the various mayors and Regional tourism guys saying that the season is just 3 months of the year. If nothing else weekend breaks are a huge market in the winter . What is needed is a bit of imagination and marketing. Italians unfortunately do design fabulously but marketing almost not at all especially once local or regional governments become involved. I had the misfortune, quite by accident, to stumble into a meeting a year ago of a Valle D’Itria tourism meeting in Martina Franca. The “board” seemed to be some of the great and the good with not an ounce of tourism experience between them . All had verbal diarrhea and the first speech from a total of 10 planned lasted 40 mins with the guy ( a lawyer) reading from laboriously written notes. I stumbled out and went to find the nearest bar.
Still it’s the old Catch 22 for me as on the one hand I get frustrated by these guys not seizing the opportunity while the other half of me still walks into restaurants and say oh no look at all these tourists and long for the quiet 9 months of the year.