Sunday, November 04, 2007

Puglia: Gli acquisti


As I do on any trip, I bought some keepsakes back with me so I could remember Puglia. I also stocked up on some of my favorite Italian things.

Mind you, I did not by any means buy as many things as I wanted. That's partly because we were often in seaside towns that don't have as much of a shopping scene as Firenze.

In any event, here's a rundown of what I bought (and some not-so-great photos, forgive me!).


Sempre con i libri. Whenever I visit Italy, I stock up on books. I think this time around, I bought enough books to last me a year.

So what did I buy?

I bought this. How could I resist?

"L'Ultimo Brigatista" (rough translation: The Last Brigadier, though please understand it refers to someone from the Red Brigades, the Italian terrorist organization) talks about the 1978 kidnapping and death of Italian statesman Aldo Moro.

And of course this. "La Casta: Cosi I Politici Italiani Sono Diventati Intoccabili" was a hit over the summer all across Italy. I bought my copy at an Autogrill!

The title means "The Caste: How Italian Politicians Became Untouchable." The book, which exposes the spending habits and cheap tricks of Italian politicians, sold more than 1 million copies in Italy in the space of five months. I also saw reports that it's sold milions of copies in the United States. Wow!

I also bought the nonfiction book shown at top, which like the book on Moro talks about the so-called "anni di piombo" that took place towards the end of the last century when Italy was mired in domestic terrorism. That era stole lives and rocked the country.

Ever since I read a book about Francesca Mambro and Valerio Fioravanti published by the publishing arm of L'Unità (part of the Comunist party newspaper company), I have been fascinated by the latitanti who took Italian political differences just a bit too seriously.

In total, I bought 10 books, including a small Pugliese cookbook and a guide to Lecce.

Here are some other highlights:
Bar Sport by Stefano Benni
La Disubbidienza by Alberto Moravia
Il Cavaliere e La Morte by Leonardo Sciascia

Outside of La Casta, I bought the books at two wonderful book shops. A trip to La Maria del Porto in Trani (Via Statuti Marittimi, 42) allowed me to catch up on my Italian terrorism reading. And in Lecce (Corte dei Cicala) was where I picked out a few Sciascia and Moravia titles that I missed before.

I also bought a few other things. One of the nicest souvenirs is this wonderful carafe.

In a previous post, I mentioned the summery tanktops I bought. These little shirts were not easy to photograph so you will just have to see me next summer. I bought all three at Giannelli Store (and jeanseria!) at Via Cavour, 77 in Trani. It was sale time! (Hence my regret that I did not buy more while we were there!)

I have one more item to show off, but probably the items I use the most from the trip in Puglia are the Quarta brand coffee and the wonderful gifts from friends, including a bottle of Pugliese olive oil from Fernando and Rosaria and the Mario Biondi CD from Ilaria and Rosario. Those items have now blended into everything else we own.

Last item: "Stefano Miele Globalizm Vol. 1: Samples, Traditionals and Folk."

This is a phenomenal album. Stefano Miele has taken traditional Pugliese folks songs and backed them with drumbeats and other DJ sounds.

It's truly unique. Try to find it at your local music store or even on Amazon!

You may wonder why I am showing you these things. Well let me say this: I don't decorate my home. All I do is surround myself with the things I love, many of which I bought in Italy or during other travels. So now you have stepped into my home. Benvenuti!

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