As Italians, we love food, but not just as a pleasure of the senses. We enjoy cooking and eating together, because to us food means relationship.
Food unites us with those whom we share it with, and it connects us with the family memory and with the land we belong to. Family recipes are like threads woven in time from one generation to the other, and surely each of us can recall a special nice smell or a particular flavor that inevitably revives the memory of a loved one. So also in this sense, somehow it’s true that “we are what we eat”.
And -as those of us lucky enough to live in some small town know- the pleasure of the relationship stemming from food can be enjoyed already when going shopping: going to the grocery shop or the local market; buying from the farmer selling their produce around the corner; picking that quality cured meat from the deli shop; opting for the freshly baked bread of the baker who still uses the wood-fired oven.
And we can do all that when we go on holiday too. After all, what nicer way to connect with a foreign land than savoring its flavors with the local cuisine? It was not by chance, in fact, that in ancient times the guest –considered a sacred messenger of the Gods- was given the seat of honour at the table; in that way, they would celebrate the relationship that from then onwards would connect him with the family and with the land giving him shelter.
Hence, it’s also in this perspective that here at SalentoDolceVita we consider the kitchen and the dining room to be of special importance in our concept of hospitality. Not only because, symbolically, it is the kitchen the place of the hearth, i.e. the heart of the house; but also because we want our guests to take part in the net of relationships that through food connects people close and far, making use of adequate spaces where to enjoy such pleasure.
We love for example those interiors that through some detail evoke the atmosphere of old times: it can be a stone-made sink, a characteristic “fucalire” –the fireplace that was used for cooking, or some old piece of furniture restored and readapted to the context. All of which conceived in combination with modern amenities, because a charming interior should never come at the expense of functionality and comfort.
Perhaps even more essential is the dining area, whether indoor or outside, because this is the place of sharing, it’s where the authentic pleasure of the table takes place. There’s something that “feels like family” in a well-laid table, something that puts you in a good mood and dispose you to happiness. If you add to the context a beautiful garden or the sea-view, then you’ll have a corner of paradise where to feel at peace with the world.
So you’ll now know that it will always be a pleasure for us giving you some advice not only about the best restaurants in the area when you’ll feel like eating out, but also about some good local vendors of fresh produce and typical products, when you’ll rather stay in and eat at home. Or arranging the food shopping for when you’ll arrive at the villa to include some local products; or a lunch or dinner based on some recipes of the Salentine cuisine prepared for you by an in-villa cook. And if you had a special occasion to celebrate during your stay, then we’d be delighted to organize for you one of the special experiences designed to this end with our dedicated partners.
When we’re on holiday we have more time (that is, more mental space) to appreciate the things that truly matter in life. Therefore, enjoy the taste and the flavor of each moment with full consciousness, aware of the fact that, ultimately, the greatest pleasure for a human being is to connect with one another.