Between architectural, craft and gastronomic beauties, we have discovered an unforgettable human heritage
After a pacific invasion of Nardò town, all the meetings we had and the stories we listened to, made our earth and our eyes full of life. Every great adventure begins with an important challenge to face and the official presentation of Tesori d’Italia 2025 Worldwide Plan in Nardò has become our chance. We met some people who, with intuition, passion and sacrifice, day by day, made their life a work of art.
Breaking the everyday life of a small town, it is unusual but even more so, afterwards, feeling welcomed with joy and confidence, in a friendly and familiar atmosphere in daily gestures of those who do their work or who meet by chance for a coffee. Just few hours after our entrance in Nardò, the peaceful “invasion” of Tesori d’Italia turned into a confrontation and growing time.
We started from Info Point of Nardò, placed in Salandra square, which immediately provide us useful indications in order to move our steps towards pleasant discoveries. Not so far from Info Point there is “La Vetrina del Gusto”, where we rushed without hesitation attracted by some traditional products well packaged and showed in the shop window. In this place, we met Ms Francesca Pagliara, who took us into the world of eno-gastronomic and craft production in Nardò and the surrounding area. We discovered that new generations in Nardò restarted the old jobs of parents and grandparents. Some examples are “Pastificio Pando” and “Panificio Vergine”. The first one, owned by a group of young people who create classical and smart pasta, mixing together innovation and handicraft; the second one managed by two young girls who realize bakery products being inspired by old Salento receipts taken from their grandmother.
We could know some precious and old realities as “Salumeria Giannuzzi” and “Antica Macelleria Fai”.
Some sweet stopping places are the elegant “Pasticceria Piemontese” or the luxury “Caffè Parisi” in the old town.
At the “Bottiglieria Wine Bar”, we discovered some very fanciful beers and deliciousness from Salento.
The earth of a town has different shapes, colours and passions with very important echoes. There is holy memory preserved by “Fedelissimi Nardò Club”. Its members promote the sport as a way to summon up the community of Nardò. Then there is Mr Luigi Caputo, a passionate writer who put places, people and anecdotes of Nardò in the post-war period, in his book “Amarcord Nardò”, enriched with the illustrations by Mr Graziano Caputo.
We cannot forget Mr Gregorio Caputo, the founder of the Museum of Peasant Civilization and Popular Traditions in Nardò. Thanks to him, we took a plunge in the missed Nardò. Ferdinando Assenti, an actor and an artist, showed us the natural settings in the town. Finally, there is Mr Mimino with his bike, who offered us pitteddhe and sweet potatoes so that we could know special tastes of this town.
We pleased to see how many young people want to show the beautiful things from their land with new ideas. Like young people of the social promotion association “Verdesalis” incubator of natural agriculture projects in the Neretino territory. §
We could find the link with roots in the gestures of its inhabitants and, what a surprise, we found this link in some people adopted by this town, chosen as their home. Mr Daniele Dell’Angelo Custode is an artist born in Dusseldorf who grew up in Nardò for many years and speaks about himself as a Neretino Doc.
Mr Jason De Giorgi is an entertainment organizer who, travelling for pleasure or for job, reached Nardò some years ago. Mr Vincent De Cat was born in Brussels. However, he felt in love with Nardò and he managed some accommodations in the old town. Extraordinary stories, full of efforts, courage and passion. Whose made us dream, leaving us impressed the faces of all those who have become the mirror of a city full of charm and culture that we learned to love.
Captivated by the old town beauty with its buildings, churches and baroque style facades, we appreciated the handicraft labs: Mr Daniele Vaglio with its Atelier making old prints; Mr Giuseppe de Bravo and Mrs Rosaria Vaglio who, in their Atelier, model the clay creating some traditional items with modern shape. In the shop “Terrarossa” we could find many traditional objects selected by the owner Mr Massimo Siciliano to take care of the heritage given by hands.
Here in Nardò you can find a quiet life with happy days or hard work days but above all it is full of marvellous things. Every place becomes special when people manage to live it in a simple way, offering and receiving beauty and values.
– Translated by Floriana Maci