Life in the Heel

Italy. The name, Mary Shelley said, “has magic in its very syllables.” Perhaps so. In any case, the name conjures up more imagery and feeling than do most continents. Lush beaches, dazzling sunsets, decadent nightlife. Dante, Fellini, Mussolini, the Mafia, the Pope, the Roman Empire. Pizza, Pasta, Cappuccinos. Little wonder that the Romantic composer Guiseppe Verdi said of it, “you may have the universe if I may have Italy.” And he has a lot of company. Italy is one of the most frequented vacation spots on the planet. Just one of the ways in which Italy differs so drastically from the country I just spent a year in, Ukraine.

While Italy may be a bit old hat for most, the region of Puglia certainly isn’t. Taking up residence in the heel of the boot that is Italy (hence the title), Puglia takes up no more than a few pages in most Italian guidebooks, if any at all. All the better for me to make this my new home for the immediate future. No tourists, no cameras, no English. Just me and my laptop (until summer that is).

If you’re reading this now you can rest assured that I am even more interested at what future entries this page will hold. One thing my initial month here has shown me is that whatever happens the next few months in the worn heel of this weary, old boot, will be interesting. And tasty.


  1. Whatever happens in the old boot you should blog about it because I really enjoyed reading about it so far. So cool Brendan!!


  2. I’m in Martina Franca. I like it, on the whole – more of a big city person myself but I moved here for family reasons and actually, am learning to appreciate the slower side of life. It’s beautiful, people are generally quite friendly and the blue skies definitely help. Hope you enjoy Rome… Have you seen La Grande Bellezza?


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