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Wild, but civilized

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Drawn to Bari for soccer, John Doyle discovers why Italy's elites escape to Puglia: for the seafood and birra, down-home friendliness and un-chic charm ...Read the full article

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  1. john smith from Canada writes: 'This is Puglia. And boy, is it hospitable.'

    and then the British 'tourists' came...
  2. D Westhill from Toronto, Canada writes: As an Italian immigrant from Naples, I always chuckle at these naive interpretations of life in Italy by short-term tourists. There is a reason why there are so many Italians in North America. Try really living there, as opposed to being a privileged tourist. Deal with the taxes, infrastructure collapse, etc., etc. Then write such glowing nonsense.
  3. Allen S from Toronto, Canada writes: I always admire Mr.Doyle/John/Doyle's travel articles. This man can write as demonstrated in his TV review column.
    I particularly enjoyed the description of his holiday in Lisbon with his mother. Beer and custard tarts. Yummmm!
  4. Geof Wyght from United States writes: Good article!
  5. Rusty Brown from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada writes:
    The article is written from the point of view of a tourist, and written for potential tourists. If someone wants to write from the point of view of a local, then let them!

    I agree that places such as this can end up ruined once word gets around and the hordes arrive.

    'They called it paradise,
    I don't know why.
    Call some place 'paradise'
    Kiss it goodbye.'
    The Eagles

  6. Levap K from Canada writes: It is absolutely amazing! They were able to build accommodation already in the 13th century, that lasts centuries. You even can put the 21st century amenities into them.
    Here we are in the North America, and we are still building just the wattle and daub replica's cottages, only that they are nailed together plywood boxes today. We call them homes and they are gone in one generation unless you fix them up! Fred Flinstone would be proud of us!
  7. Jennifer Klenz from Vancouver, Canada writes: John Doyle has done well to capture the appeal of Puglia. I was fortunate enough to live as an insider there for a summer. I worked on an organic farm which was a type of bed and breakfast and...the incredibly evening meals of local specialities were the big draw. What I believe some are alluding to is that yes as a tourist you will experience the food, the wine, the trulli, the seaside and the friendly people but there is a dark side. As an insider what I saw were the huge class distinctions. My Italian co-workers on the farm worked incredibly hard for what in North America would amount to slave wages. These people were for the most part highly skilled but work was scarce and many are greatly exploited by their bosses. One of my closest Italian friends was a chartered accountant who did the books, welcomed guests, cleaned the rooms, helped serve meals working ~12 hours a day mostly 7 days a week for the bargain wage of 300 Euros a month (at the time that was about $500 Canadian). Realize that the cost of living was much higher than here. She lived at home and gave her entire wage to her parents to pay for her sister's university education. She and the others didn't have the luck to be born wealthy. Nevertheless my italian coworkers were incredible perfectionists who took pride in every single job they did and it was an honour working with them. The stereotypes of their very visible latin emotions were true. We would often greet each other with hugs and airkisses at the start and finish of daily interactions. I felt part of a very loving family. And when the boss got to be too unreasonable fireworks of screaming and yelling errupted followed several hours or days later with emotional pleas and bargaining by that same now grovelling boss. The only way these highly skilled people could better their lot would seem to be to leave and work up north or in another European country but the ties of family were strong and kept many there.

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