Post by David Fielding
While were in Otranto this past July, the Italian edition of our book was launched by the publisher, AnimaMundi. The publisher arranged for a celebratory gathering for our book and two others that it had also just released. Here, we have the authors and members of the publisher's staff gathered for the festivities. There was Champaign and congratulations all around—an evening that Audrey and I will not forget. Unfortunately, our co-authors, Carlo, Lucia and Luciana could not be present since the ceremony was organized at the last minute—the day the printer delivered the books and the night before our flight.
From left: Valentina Sasò, graphic design specialist, Emmanuel Ferrari, author of the recently published book, Parole a Fumetti; Giuseppe Conoci; publisher and owner of AnimaMundi; Georgia Chinè, AnimaMundi bookstore manager; Massimiliano De Salvatore, Distribution (and leader of the band, Almoraima); Audrey Fielding, lead author of Salento by 5; David Fielding, sketcher for Salento by 5; and Luigi Garrisi, author of recently published book, Mala Agapiat.
Post by David Fielding
It's time to return to Otranto. This will be an important visit because our book has found an Italian publisher. It is to be published in English by AnimaMundi, an independent publishing house based in Otranto. Tourists visiting Salento will be able to find the book in local bookstores. The book can also be a good resource for Italian teachers of English since all the content is local and familiar. We will keep you posted as to when it will be available. In the meantime, Amazon books is the best way to get your very own copy of SALENTO BY 5. Read the reviews, get the book and experience this very special part of Italy for yourself.
Some postcard sketches and their inspirations, beginning with the San Francisco airport, then Fiumicino, outside of Rome, followed by scenes from Otranto and the Salento countryside. Hover the cursor over the image, click on the "Play" button and enjoy the show!
Look what we found in the Yucatan in Mexico! If you are ever in the Yucatan beach town of Playa del Carmen and want to eat a good pizza or a plate of pasta, this is the place.
Things change. Every year that we return to Salento, we learn of something new. The news is not always good. Marinella Cacciatore, the sister of our co-author Luciana, passed away suddenly of a heart attack in the Spring of this year. Marinella was a teacher of Latin and Greek at a nearby high school. Her high school auditorium has been renamed and rededicated to honor her memory. We will remember her as smart, friendly and dedicated to her students and learning.
It's all about the book promotion these days....and that means communication with you, our readers. For those of you who have written back to us, we thank you for your interest and support. For those of you who have been to Salento recently, we would love to hear your comments about your trip experiences and whether you found our book helpful or not. As we all know, things change, so any updates regarding travel notes in our book would be gratefully appreciated.
We were in Otranto this year (2017) from the middle of June to the middle of July. The weather was good and our swims in the Otranto Bay were fantastic with clear and often calm (no wind) waters. We even joined some friends and hiked down a small cliff to a picturesque and isolated cove south of Otranto. It was a bit dicey getting back out onto the rocks, but we made it.
The little tourist shop on the corner outside our apartment was no longer. Gigi and Rosaria have retired. Our two favorite eating places, Il Ghiottone and Il Castello are doing well. The best pasta and mussels in my opinion are at Il Ghiottone; add a seafood antipasta and a bottle of susumaniello wine and savor it all. Sergio thanked us for mentioning susumaniello wine in our book....he says that he knows which customers have read the book when they ask for it, since it has only recently become more popular with local Italians. Il Castello owners Roberto and Maria and family continue to welcome everyone with good local dishes and pizza. We've learned over the years that this is a good restaurant to start a conversation with a neighboring table, so don't be shy.
For the first time this year we noticed African refugees who appear to have chosen Otranto as their home base and not move on further north like so many others. They are more out and about in town, some at work in small stores. For the first time I saw African children swimming and playing in the water. Older teenagers played vigorous games of volleyball on a small section of the town's beach. Later in our trip we visited the towns of Riace and Badolato in Calabria, towns known for their acceptance and accommodation of numerous refugees from war torn areas of Africa and the Middle East.
Check in soon for more about our summer adventures in Salento.
Coming up in future blog posts::
*a rock concert for over 60"s....Lucio Dalla and 90's nostalgia
*a fabulous cooking school in Lecce in an old palazzo: The Awaiting Table
*a side trip to Calabria: it's closer than you think
Please join us at our upcoming book presentation
6:00pm, Wednesday, November 8
Book Passage bookstore in San Francisco
One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111
The one-hour presentation will feature a multimedia introduction to Salento, with slides, music, a video introduction to our three Salento authors, Carlo, Luciana and Lucia and brief readings from the book by our San Francisco authors, Audrey and David Fielding. Of course Audrey and David will be available to sign and dedicate your copy of SALENTO BY 5.
Out of the blue, the Facebook page for SALENTO BY 5 recently received a great message from two people we'd never met before--Steve and Marianne Silverio of Villanova, Pennsylvania. We'd like to share the exchange of messages with you below (from now on, I'm going to ask for un bicchiere di vino a'la Nubilo!).
Salve, Audrey & David! I have just finished your wonderful book and want to thank you for the time I spent reading... No attempting to absorb it, while thoroughly enjoying it! My wife Marianne and I will be traveling in the Salento in June, on our way to the Scuola Internationale di Mosca in Castel di Sangro. We have been in northern provinces and in Abruzzo, where my parents came from before emigrating to America, but never south as my father always said of the Calabrese, [le terrone] di teste dure! We are now very anxious to go and your book has made it so much more tangible and real. Molte grazie e un grande abbraccio, Steve & Marianne Silverio Villanova, PA
Ciao te Audrey & David, It was Marianne who, searching for more literature about Apulia and the Salento, found your book. It is quite a little treasure-trove of information as well as a personal view of a very unique part of Italy. Some of the stories reminded me of how my mother and father spoke of relatives in their little towns. Like the fact that my great, great grandfather, Nubilo, who collected farmer's grain in his donkey cart, had a healthy thirst for wine, eschewing any proffered glass not full to the brim. My dad used to say that if you walked into any taverna in Scherni and ordered un bicchiere di vino, a'lla Nubilo, you would always get a glass full to the brim! We would have really enjoyed nothing better than to spend a little time with you but we must travel to Castel di Sangro to be there by the 25th. for the Italian Fly Fishing Festival. I hope that someday we can meet as I can tell you that, unlike any travel book I have ever read, yours touched me in a special way. I nostri saluti più caldi per te entrambi, Steve & Marianne
Blog post by David
Congratulations . . .
to SALENTO BY 5 author, Carlo Longo, and his group BlueSalento on the release today of BlueSalento's new CD album, "Mare Tu Salentu," produced by the Pugliese label, Dodicilune.
The new album was the subject of a presentation ceremony on the evening of April 7 in the town of Taviano in the heart of Salento. The atmosphere and the characters of each sound track of the album create a tangle of emotions and memories in the foreground while reflecting scenes of the Salento countryside and its seas. The album's music and lyrics express the joys and suffering of Salento: a Syrian woman with riveting eyes in flight from war; a Albanian girl desperate to return home; a father who lost his fisherman son to the sea; a shooting star that holds together two distant lovers; the wind that carries messages to the beloved; the inevitable Salento displaying typical Salentino irony.
The sounds of "Mare Tu Salentu" are sophisticated and refined, with strong contributions from classical instrumentalists. The language of the lyrics is Salento's universal lingua franca common throughout the region, with minimal regional dialect, and with markedly Spanish-Latin influence. Words in the songs' lyrics are based primarily on their euphonic, rhythmic and expressive effects. Yet, the result is that the Salento language is preserved, evolves and lives in the songs. Salento's lingua franca is not only not disappearing, it is being reborne in the choruses of BlueSalento's fantastic new album!
BlueSalento, the group, is composed of:
Carlo Longo: Composition, lyrics, vocal and folk guitar.
Carlo is also "The Music Maker—Author" of SALENTO BY 5
Luigi Liotta: Arrangement, editing, classical and folk guitar
Salvatore Amante: Keyboard and arrangement
Umberto Malagnino: Electric bass
Rosanna Schina: Tamburello, tammorra and harmonica
Sergio Lia: Tamburelli
Massimo Liotta: Classic and electric guitars
Claudia Lannocca, Eleonora Rizzo, Carmen Maruccio: Vocals
Edoardo D'Ambrosio: Drums and percussion
Dario Cota: Accordion
Blog post by David
© 2015 A. Fielding, L. Cacciatore, C. Longo, D. Fielding, L. Erriquez - All Rights Reserved