40.7928° N, 17.1012° E
Tuesday 8th October 2019
Lauren jets from London to meet Nina who is travelling from Poland, into Bari airport on a sunny autumn day. On arrival we collected the rental car (which by the way is really affordable to rent for a week off season) and headed en route to our villa. When driving in Puglia make sure your google maps is working you will need it! We booked it via @airbnb - an incredible trulli style stone hut with conical shaped tiled roof, typical architecture for the area.
After the luggage was unloaded we headed out to dinner, a recommendation from the owner of the Airbnb, we always suggest asking locals for food recommendations. It was here at La mia terrra the plethora of pasta and Italian desserts, local wines and digestives started.
Wednesday 9th October 2019
Our first day of sourcing, an early start and full itinerary of villages to visit. We made a quick roadside stop to explore the incredible cactus plants and olive trees growing freely at Macchia Di Monte, Monopoli, enroute to Lecce. The endless terrain is growing thousands of olive trees as far as the eye can see, intertwined with cactus.
Lecce, Old Town. Such a quaint city, it is here we sourced the first products for the collection. The ceramic pencils are from a local ceramists, we walked into his studio, an older Italian man was playing some Kanye West super loud, we felt right at home…
We wandered the streets and found a lovely place for lunch, we shared a salad and a glass of Prosecco each at '00' restaurant before heading off to the next destination, Otranto.
In Ontranto we relaxed on the local beach while we waited for the shops to reopen, most studios and shops close from 1pm – 4pm, take note. We took the opportunity to get a power nap in then were ready for power shopping, we sourced all of the beautiful Italian linen tableware from here.
We had dinner booked at Le Stanzie this evening, it was the most incredible experience that we will remember forever, we highly recommend a visit and have written a complete blog on this experience, coming up soon.
Thursday 10th October 2019
Our second day sourcing, with our first stop to Alberbello – the most magical village full of trulli style stone huts. We learnt that the painted symbols on the roofs are either primitive, Christian or magical symbols. We leisurely explored the local stores and markets, took an abundance of photos then made our way to the next destination Brindisi for lunch at the port while all the shops were closed. If we would travel to Puglia again we would skip Brindisi and spend more time in the little villages and beaches.
With a quick stop at the hypermarket Auchan to pick up supplies (huge selection of Italian pasta, cheeses and meats) for the lifestyle shoot and dinner we then headed to the ceramic capital Grottaglie. This sleepy town is literally full to the brim with local Italian ceramicists and studios. We made multiple purchases here, it is so lovely to buy direct from the maker and support them in their craft.
We enjoyed a tasty home cooked dinner this evening made by Nina, a pasta dish with fresh herbs, fresh cheese and a chicken schnitzel, yum!
Friday 11th October 2019
Our final day sourcing (yes 3 days only, we are power shoppers), a big day on the road with many miles covered.
We made it to Ostuni for breakfast – freshly squeezed orange juice and croissants, a spot of personal shopping then back to Lecce and Otranto to source more products we had seen the two days prior. Needless the say the car boot was full by the end of the day! All products can now be viewed on our website.
We got home late so it was pasta left overs for dinner, a glass of wine and prep work for the photo shoot tomorrow morning.
Saturday 12th October 2019
We commissioned a local photographer to photograph the lifestyle shoot. We came across Donatella on Instagram, it was really lovely to meet and connect with a local creative to be part of the collection.
The Airbnb villa we booked had a lovely paved outdoor area, with a grape vine growing wildly over the pergola and a beautiful vista into a neighbouring paddock full of olive trees, the perfect scene.
We wrapped they shoot about 1pm, packed up all the product and headed to Polignano a Mare for a quick dip and sunbathing session before en route to our dinner destination, Ostuni.
We paid for a 30 minute tour through the old town, we learnt about the history of the area and the buildings then were dropped at a really cool cocktail bar to celebrate the end to our second TFF trip.
Sunday 13th October 2019
Fly out day, Lauren heads back to London and Nina jets back to Poland.