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Michael Seewald's daybook from his
65th sponsored series, created in Oct. and Nov. of 2016

Puglia, Italy
(aka Apulia)

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Seascape, Santa Maria di Leuca, Puglia, Italy 2016, by Michael Seewald

 

        
Click outside two maps to enlarge.

 

Series in production, will be release the summer of 2017.
To see those images click here

 



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Porto Cesareo, iPhone pano by Michael Seewald

Exchange rate 11.2016  /   1 EUR = 1.06 USD
 


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Chef Express of the Rome autostrada


Well, after two flights (14 hours total and a three hour layover) then driving 8 hours, all on three hours of sleep, I've finally arrived in the Puglia region. First home base will be a quaint port called Lesina. Negotiated a 'starving artist special' again (stayed here last year), a 3 star hotel- includes a full breakfast and four course dinner w/ wine and water, for $50. Love off season deals one can make. TUL (Thank You Lord) 

 

Well, after shooting for a few days in the northern section of Puglia last year, during the creating of my 63rd world destination series 'Best of Italy', I was very impressed with it. BUT I'd judged the whole region upon that work, and while the area was quite large, as in a few hours to drive around the section, it was far from representative of the whole of Puglia. So after a few days of working new parts, I thought I'd might of made a mistake choosing it.

Upon talking to some folks at a tourist information booth in Manfredonia, about my third day there, I realized my work might find me specializing on all of the ports along the coast, which were many, and varied. Of course, I'd heard there were some great places inland too, like Lecce, so I was going to keep an open mind.

"...I hoped, and it came to be so, that it translated to 'mussels'!"

 


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 Santa Maria al Bagno
 

11.2
On the way down to Gallipoli, headed south from Porto Cesareo, I stopped and created a nice piece of art in this little corner of a town. Strong side light made it come alive.

Afterwards, I made my usual meat, cheese, tomato sandwich from fresh ingredients I'd picked up in the morning and watched the light change the scene as the clouds blew by. 

         

          
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Shots in Gallipoli

Worked my way down to Gallipoli. It sounded familiar, as in  a movie about folks trying to conquor it back in WW1 or something like that. Upon doing research back at the hotel that night, found out yes, it was a major battle over a few months and hundreds of thousands of English, and Australians, had lost their lives trying to rid southern Italy of the Turks.

      
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Net Repair, fisherman / old boat, Porto Cesareo.


11.3

Walking around Porto Cesareo I found lots of possibilities. The weather was perfect with slight cloudiness giving me soft light.


11.5
After a hard days work of driving around looking at beaches, ports, olive groves and historic centers, a photographic artist works up an appetite. BUT, welcome to Italy, where none of the restaurants open UNTIL 8 pm. This is hard to accept for an American, I can tell you. We eat when we want. Our restaurants, for the most part, open much earlier.

Parle Italiano? Me either. But thank God most menus have the English translations. I just ordered the 'tourist menu' at Ristorante Felix. (Tourist menu is the way to go, ordering separate items of the same thing would run 50% more)

They had two menus to choose from for this, one TERRA, at $18, and one MARE, at $20. They both include a pasta dish, (always pasta first) and a second dish of meat, (either 'sea' or 'land' types) and a small salad and drink (bottled water or 1/4 liter wine) and coffee or sweet desert, or liquor often, when finished. The 'Terra' I 'googled', and it meant 'land', which I'd figured. 'Mare', I knew, means ocean (seafood).


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'Cozze', come to find out, meant mussels. Cool.

Choice on seafood pasta was 'cozze'. I hoped, and it came to be so, that it translated 'mussels'! ;/) just what the doctor ordered. Now waiting... nope, just arrived.

Felix Ristorante-Pizzeria
 

 

 

    
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Conti Zecca Enoteca display

 

"I was spoiled, and soon realized I'd use this as a base for an extra day or two as the place was so nice, the price so low, the folks so friendly, and the location so perfect for finding great images, TUL!"

 

11.6.
The tasting room is first class, as is Mr Zecca's whole operation. Oh, now I see the 'Cantalupi' wine, the gentleman that cooked me the horse meat panini at tonight's 'new wine' festival in Leverano mentioned it.
at Enoteca CONTI ZECCA.

Three days ago I went to Leverano, where the famous Conti Zecca winery is located, just before the tasting room closed. I'd tasted some of their Primitivo in Lecce, at a tourist shop promoting Salento products (the area of S. Puglia), and was very impressed with it's smoothness. I wanted to go to the actual winery, and maybe shoot (create) something there. I was invited to come back during the day, which I did, yesterday morning. Lo and behold, Mr Zecca himself was outside watching a truck load some of his wines and I introduced myself and told him what I did, and showed him samples on my phone. He was impressed and decided to give me a personal tour. This would be like running into Mr Mondavi and having him give me a tour. This gentleman runs a giant operation, and his family has had it for FOUR HUNDRED YEARS NOW! Each pic will have explanations.

   
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Mr Alcibiade Zecca poses during my private tour of his winery.

 


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Enoteca, Conti Zecca, and some bottling machinery

I went back after Mr Zecca gave me the tour to make some art. The bottler machines interested me the most. I've got a shot of the entire bottling machine, it's about 20 yards long and bottles 5,000 per hour. But as Mr Zecca and his interpreter went with me, I could not find a shot that really moved me. I'm not used to have folks watch me work, and besides, they were both standing there and I felt as if I was wasting their time, so I found something that 'kinda worked', shot it, and found out it was lunch time and I was stopping them from leaving, no wonder I sensed the anxiousness of their waiting on me. Wished I could have worked it at my leisure, I 'could smell a photo waiting to get out' there. Oh well. at Conti Zecca.

 

I heard that a 'New Wine Festival' was being held at the city the winery was located in that weekend, so I went to it after finishing shooting that day, looking to find more photos, this time night city scenes. None were found, but did enjoy the festivities of roving bands, and tons of food and drink vendors...


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Festa del vino novello, Leverano

11.6 Festa del vino novello (New Wine Festival), Leverano
After getting in a long line of folks ordering bbq sandwiches, and the order taking trying to explain in Italian what meat they were serving, and me still not understanding, had it explained by the chef as I'd waited. It was horse! HORSE? Well,  the USA does not serve it, so I was very surprised to hear that's what I'd ordered!. But I've eaten the strangest things around the world, and in comparison, thought it might be tame over those. My theory, if the locals eat it, like it, and live, then it cant' be all bad. So it was the first time eating horse meat, as far as I know. With language barriers and some of off the wall places I've traveled, guess it could well be it was not the first time And seems to be a big deal here, with a 100K horses slaughtered for food here per year. Research found 6 other countries also serve it, but also that protests are held to stop them from doing so recently in Italy. It went well with the Conti Zecca wine they sold there too.
  at Festa del vino novello Leverano.


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Santa Maria di Leuca, overview

"...He was only down south as his dad had moved down for the warmer weather some years earlier, but was on his deathbed at the moment. Stefano said he passed the next day."

 

11.7

Worked my way down the 'free autostrada' to the far south, past Gallipoli, and toured the lighthouse and chuch overlooking the town, named Santa Maria di Leuca. Then worked my way down, past the port, and downtown where I got my afternoon macchiato and inquired about rooms. Was told not far away, on the ocean, was one three star hotel open year round, called Hotel Rizieri. Found it a minute later (was one block away), and after asking the owner for a 'non-view, low priced, artist discount room' he went from a $40 quote he first gave to $30 (and that would be without breakfast, as the 'bar' where they have it was closed for two weeks).  His helper showed me the room, which was fine- TV, bathroom, writing table, heater, WiFi, etc., and after then asking Rizieri (his name too) for a further reduction price down to $25, (since there was no breakfast) he immediately agreed. Cool. I then asked if there was any discount at his restaurant for hotel residents, and he said yes, a $10 euro special for the 'tourist plate'! Wow, only $10?! And what a deal it came to be, it even included seafood pasta (cozze again), and seafood second plate, wine, water and liquor dessert. And it was some of the best I'd eaten on the trip. I was spoiled, and soon realized I'd use this as a base for an extra day or two as the place was so nice, the price so low, the folks so friendly, and the location so perfect for finding great images, TUL!

 

   
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Cactus and Nasturtium, So. Puglia/ Small cactus patch nearby, on ocean.

11.7
Saw some Nasturtiums growing over the prickly pear cactus and it looked to make a nice piece of art.
Was a bit dangerous as the cactus patch was 50 yards by 100 yards, and the nasturtium was further into the patch. Was worth it.

 


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Santa Maria di Leuca

11.9
Had a great day, lots of clouds and soft light, with strong waves, made working in Santa Maria di Leuca such a pleasure.

11.10
Decided to work my way to Gallipoli for me last day based down south. Had a wonderful day shooting seascapes, and olive grove again. There was one point where the road had been closed, forcing us all to go inland for some distance, thus the olive tree work. Made it just shy of Gallipoli.

That night, back at the ranch (Rizieri's hotel and restaurant), while eating I saw a lady trying to get a selfie with two friends. I motioned to the waiter they could use some help, and he ended up getting me in the background! Funny. I met the older gent, Stefano Citterio, whom I found teaches languages (plural, he knows 7) at a university up near Milano, near Bergamo, where he's based. He was only down south as his dad had moved down for the warmer weather some years earlier, but was on his deathbed at the moment. Stefano said he passed the next day. I'd checked out and went to Otranto.


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I ended up photo-bombing Stefano's group photo.
Stefano Citterio and his friends (kids?).

 

 

"...Olive trees, olive trees! On the way to a place to make photos (Trulli, Alberobello) I had to stop for two hours and make photos! That's how one rolls sometimes... "

 


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Marina di Marittima

11.11
Short video of a beautiful cove I was photographing today. Marina di Marittima, Puglia, Italy. One of three weeks left to work now. https://vimeo.com/191047836

 


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Old City on the sea, Santa Cesarea Terme

11.12

       
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Steps, Santa Cesarea Terme / usual mid-afternoon pick me up (well, usually a macchiato!).

11.12

 
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Otranto promenade

 


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Super moon, Otranto, without the moon!

11.14
I thought I'd show you what the SUPERMOON looked like last night here in Otranto. Well, in this shot it's behind the clouds, mostly. Did get her done with 'the good camera' though. You'll have to wait for the exhibition for that one.

 


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Andrea, Lucio and myself, just before departing after three days in their wonderful hotel on the ocean.

Andrea and Lucio posed with me before I headed out from the Profumo di Mare hotel they help run. Three wonderful days using the hotel, in Otranto, Puglia Italy, as a base. Thanks guys, especially Andrea, who actually made me eggs and bacon for breakfast. That breakfast is unheard of in Italy, and after three weeks of croissants I was really missing it. with Hotel Ristorante Pizzeria Profumo di Mare.

 


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Olive tree, Ostuni

 

11.14
Olive trees, olive trees! On the way to a place to make photos (Trulli, Alberobello) I had to stop for two hours and make photos! That's how one rolls sometimes... Olive tree, Ostuni, Puglia, Italy. (This is just iPhone snap, imagine how nice the 'big camera' will make it. Shot with three lenses at three varying angles and backgrounds).

 

 


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The Trulli of Alberobello

Max, my young acquaintance whom told me about his home region, Puglia, the year before, and was the catalyst really for his whole series. He showed me around his home area for a day and a half, my last two days working Puglia.

Link to more info about 'the Trulli': http://www.lifeinitaly.com/tourism/puglia/trulli-1.asp

 

 
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Cactus and vase, historical center, Polignano di Mare

 

 


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Selfie, Polignano di Mare historical center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsorships may be available for PUGLIA, contact ASAP to find out. Get a
Seewald at 1/2 price by collecting BEFORE they are released. Sponsorship Offerings

 

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11.22.2016

Michael Seewald Galleries
Del Mar Plaza
1555 Camino Del Mar, Ste. 312, Del Mar, California, 92014 USA 
Phone: 858.793.3444 

Open Wed. thru Sun., 2 p.m. till 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturdays till 10 p.m..
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1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016  Michael Seewald.  All rights reserved.
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