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September 2018


Picasso in Puglia

Hi there,

Do you like Picasso’s work?

It is quite exceptional to see the work of a Spanish artist here in Puglia. My friend Habiba and I were lucky. It was a small exhibition though, just roughly thirty pieces of mainly pottery designed by Picasso, from the forties till the nineties.

We saw the exhibition “L’altra metà del ciello” in the Palazzo Ducal in Martina Franca. Built in 1668, this was once the palace of the Caracciolo family, the dukes who presided over the town’s glory days. Nowadays it houses the town hall, a library and Martina Franca’s tourist information office. It is beautiful inside, all painted walls with bible stories. The huge chandeliers gave it an enchanting feeling.

Do you know the perfect trick* to get into an exhibition for free? Well, we knew the exhibition would close at 1pm and were a little late. We arrived at the ticket office at 12:30 and the guy behind the counter just announces us that the cash register is closed. The museum was still open till 1 pm and would open again at 3 pm. I already knew from a friend that it was a small exhibition, doable in half an hour. So we couldn’t pay, and therefore couldn’t get in anymore.

Just before, when we were driving to Martina Franca, Habiba and I had discussed our disapproval of bureaucracy and how people working in public administration offices often misuse their power to counteract their frustration with their job.

Faced with bureaucracy in reality now, it was we who got frustrated. I tried my best Italian to tell the guy we were so much looking forward to this visit and that we couldn’t come back in the afternoon. We both switched to our most depressed look on our face and turned back to the entrance. “Aspetta!” he called out to us. He winced and told us to quickly sneak in to the museum, without paying.

I guess the guy -let’s call him Matteo- I guess Matteo was frustrated with bureaucracy himself.

Mille grazie Matteo, per la tua disobbedienza al sistema!

We still had a perfect lunch (a salad) on the piazza Roma, just in front of the Palazzo Ducale.

Ciao, ciao,


*Don’t try this yourself, Art and Culture needs to be cherished, and can use our support!



Puglia, Stories

Cactus love

Good evening to you all,

I am back home. Happy to be back with my family.

On the other hand, I miss Puglia already: the evening sun peeking through the olive trees, the fresh figs, the pizzas, the good Puglian wines – I only drink on vacation 😉 – and of course the good company, a nice mixture of family and friends.

But there’s comfort. On the last day of our stay, I got up early and started cutting the cactus leaves. A very prickly business, I can tell you. I first took off the fruit – delicioso! – and then I cut the leave at the bottom. I filled two boxes, also with the leaves of the small cacti.

And now they have arrived home. So time to get them into pots. The ones I had planted last year grew well, so I put those in bigger pots now.

How do you plant a cactus? It is very simple!

  • Take a flower pot.
  • If you still have some fragments of terracotta, put this at the bottom.
  • Start with regular soil, then fill up with special potting soil for cacti.
  • Put the bottom of the leaf in the soil and push the soil around it, so it stays steady.
  • Water it once till twice a week, not too much.
  • The leaves will grow in spring
  • Wear gloves!

Good luck!

Ciao, ciao, Sophia




Veggie in Brindisi

Un brindisi al cibo vegetariano!

We visited Brindisi not too long ago, hoping to stroll through the antique market. Normally it takes place the first Sunday of the month. Unfortunately, there was another Saint to be celebrated, so no market, no shopping…

Daughter wanted to go again, she had spotted a high end vegetarian restaurant. She and her boyfriend are both eating vegan, for health, ecological and ethical reasons. I totally agree, only the rest of the (male ;-)) family won’t follow.

So! We headed off to Brindisi again. Worthwhile, that is for sure. We strolled along the riverside and harbor, a beautiful scene. Drinking cocktails in the evening light, scanning people walking by.

Dinner: it was high end vegan food! The restaurant is called Piovono Zucchine, and the owners surprised us with their delicious and unique food. Ever tasted fried cactus fruit?

Let me show you a few dishes.

To taste, you’ll have to head over there yourself. No regrets, I can guarantee.

The best piece of art (all the dishes were!) was the dessert. The taste as well as the design were inspired by the movie Pulp fiction. You had to make the final touch yourself before eating it: inject your heart (the one on your plate). Buon appetito!



The holy Andreas! Well, we chose the right name for our youngest 😉

How are you?

I am still at Casa Vita. It is just me and Hubbie at the moment. And we are working inside and outside the house to keep it up to date and to make it more beautiful.

More on the interior in a later post!

Last week we visited Sant’Andrea. It is an Instagram-worthy place. But don’t forget to use your own eyes too. These cliffs and rocks along the Adriatic coast in Puglia (between Lecce and Otranto) are breathtaking. Sant’Andrea is a bit over an hour drive from Ostuni, where Casa Vita is.

We walked aside the cliffs and Hubbie, Daughter and Boyfriend went down to a lower platform. There were steps for the first part, but then it was all climbing– too scary for me. Let me just show you the photos.

Recognize Hubbie and me;-)?

Too scared to go all the way down…

The other ones weren’t

Poor Giovanni

Unfortunately Giovanni didn’t make it, diving from the cliffs. But there are worse places to rest in peace, don’t you think?

Have a great day and don’t risk your life!

Ciao, Sophia




Food & Drinks in Puglia

Buonasera Tutti,

I am writing outside now, under the back porch in Casa Vita.

This morning we visited Brindisi, the old Port town – there is an airport too now.

We came back to the house and I made a quick lunch, with all the ingredients we still had:

  • small zucchini
  • zucchini flowers
  • yellow pepper
  • arugula
  • small tomatoes
  • green and red pesto
  • parmesan cheese

I cooked some whole wheat pasta, divided it in two bowls, one with the green and the other with the red pesto. I grilled the pepper, zucchini and zucchini flowers. With the arugula, tomatoes and cheese I made a salad.

It was an easy but delicious lunch. Buon appetito!

And oh yes, last week we tried our pizza again. I wrote down this recipe already. This time I added a slightly different salad, with fresh picked figs from the yard!


  • figs
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber/melon, this is a kind of fruit you can find here, it is a mixture between cucumber and melon.
  • some ricotta cubes – but actually I would prefer just some salty blue cheese
  • a vinaigrette from olive oil from our yard (what else?), balsamic vinegar, a small spoon of marmelade (preferable one from figs) and some pepper and seasalt

Delicioso anche!

And let me show you all the fruit that is ready to be picked right now, all in our yard:

Buon appetito!

Ciao, Sophia



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