Welcome to the “other” Italy, where tiny villages known as “Borghi” surrounded by castles, palaces, or walls dating back to the Medieval or Renaissance periods can take your Italian culinary vacation to another level. Let me walk you through a series of blogs dedicated to the hidden “Borghi” of Puglia.
First stop, Bovino! Located on a hilltop in the province of Foggia in northern Puglia, here you can experience Italian local culture totally off the beaten tourist track. The people in Bovino are welcoming and friendly, and their cuisine is amazing. On a recent educational trip to Bovino I got to experience this hospitality first hand. It began with a charming and warm welcome at an ancient flour mill before we headed up to the center of town. At the mill we got to see how flour has been and is still being produced by the same local family for five generations. After learning about their traditional techniques for milling flour, we tasted the delicious products this ancient mill has to offer. By the way, they were all vegetarian and absolutely delicious!
After the mill it was time to check into our accommodations and rest a little after the long journey from Chicago. Our group was spread among three beautiful and unique properties, from a real castle to a fabulously chic and charming boutique bed and breakfast. As always in Puglia, our hosts made us feel completely at home. Once settled in, we walked through the ancient stone alleyways to a local trattoria and got our first taste of what the Bovinese cusine has to offer. In Bovino there are many unique local restaurants to choose from and believe me you will not be disappointed. The Bovinesi people will welcome you with open arms and you’re sure to leave with forever friends. Special thanks to Francesco, Gaetano, Michela and the Mayor of Bovino, Michele Dedda!
This is just the first stop on our magical (virtual) tour through the hidden “borghi” of Puglia. Check back for more stops in the coming weeks. And remember, if you would like to experience Puglia and Apulian cuisine first-hand on a wonderful cooking vacation in Italy, please contact us! We’d love to talk to you about what we can offer to make your gastronomic dreams come true.
By Darlene Pereda
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