They are friendly and easy going (sometimes too much).
They can be formal until affectation and suddenly get intimate and confidential as having your same blood and break into your life with an incredible ease.
People from Puglia are overly critical, contradictory, dreamers.
With appropriate geographical (and indivisual) differences, there are some traits that unites them all, from Gargano to Salento, via the 400 km that separate the north from the very south end.
And there are the phrases that it is prudent not to tell them.
Here we go with some of them.
1 – Never start a sentence saying “Apulians are… [no matter what]”
I know, I know, on the basis of this statement we can say that this article about the 10 sentences not to say to Apulians is totally wrong. But let me explain:
Puglia has such a diversity touching history, territorial structure, economics, music and culture, and it’s “risky” to put all the people of Puglia under the same “cathegories”.
And when get out with the formula “you Apulian, are… ” you must expect a 45-minute sermon about diversity, culture and even language and dialects.
Babel exists, and it is the heel of Italy.
2- “I had a great burrata to the supermarket”
You can’t buy burratina at the supermarke. And if you (think you) do, it can’t be great. That’s it!
3- “Do you know a place to stay in Puglia in mid august?” (mainly if you ask ita t the beginning of August)
Now, friends, let’s get in the shoes of an Apulian.
They know they live in a paradise, and yet they know that others still consider it a last resort (perhaps for purely geographical reasons); Every year, each Apilian is called by at least two or three friends who are a little back with holiday planning and ask, on August the 10th, if “you know a place for a summer week holiday.”
Regardless of the answer you receive, you must know that what they think is:
“Of course I know, but you know what? 98% of the accomdations are all booked.”
At that, the Apulian will strive to find that 2% of places with a place for you. Alternatively he/she’ll give his/her you home.
Because not letting people come to Apulia is a mortal sin.
4 – “In Puglia there’s lack of facilities and services”
The reasons why they don’t like this sentence are:
- I’s said by those who have found place in the 2% of empty structures.
- It’s said by people used to go on vacation to Liguria and Romagna and other beautiful places that are connected by a motorway and railway network thicker than the Apulian one (and, no, we don’t like it)
- Sometimes it can be true. And we suffer for this imperfection.
5 – You don’t speak like Lino Banfi/Checco Zalone (2 Italian comedian)
Banfi and Luca Pasquale Medici (known as Checco Zalone) are two great Italian artists who were able to create funny characters speaking in an excessive dialect and incorrect italian.
They are actually very educated, they speak a very good Italian, in a perfect diction. A comic character with territorial traits born and raised as a caricature, can’t be a portrait of reality and Apulians are always very surprised (read disappointed) when someone thinks that something so unrealistic is the reality.
6 – “I’ll just taste some fingerfood”
Whether you are visiting friends, you’re in a restaurant or trattoria, forget forever the concept of small finger food. The appetizer of the house is the equivalent of a wedding banquet (at the cost of a drink).
7 – “Here there is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit”
To be honest, this sentence is often a source of conflict between indigenous. That is, every once in a while a local turns out with this statement, and two fuctions quite similar to two rugby teams are created and they start fighting without even looking after the ball (ie, the idea that there is no entrepreneurial spirit).
If you hear two Apulian arguing about food, religion, politics, love, old grudges, you nust know that they have probably started with the sentence “here there is no entrepreneurial spirit”.
It is in fact a statement that contains too many complex questions and never solved issues, such as: what is really the entrepreneurial spirit? Making money or creating shared well-being? Growing always or sometimes stopping and taking a step back?
8 – “I’m teetotal”
I am too Apulian to explain with scientific precision why this sentence should not be said in Puglia.
9 – “The Apulian oil taste is too strong, it hides the natural food flavors”
Whenever an Apulian hear this (legitimate) opinion, he/she start believing that freedom of opinion is an overrated concept.
10 – “I’ve never been to Puglia”
Before you say this sentence to an Apulian, you should become his/her very close friend or you must make him drunk or make him smoke illegal substances.
Otherwise they will always look with at you with suspicion. For locals, if you’ve never seen Puglia have something to hide, some terrible shame that want to atone, punishing yoursef through the denial of beauty.
You can introduce the issue by saying: “Eh, Puglia … the dream of a life time.” Or, making the sentence sound less categorical, saying: “You know, I’m finally planning a trip to Puglia.”
Basically you are saying that you’ve never been to Puglia, but in the eyes of an Apulian you will appear more credible and… normal.
Have you ever met one of this strange people? What do you think it’s better not to tell them?