Pre departure jitters

There is something exciting about going to a place that your heart and palate seems to call home.

I have just arrived in a special place of southern Italy. Nestled between the Campagnia and Puglia region, la Basilicata La remains a  region virtually  unknown by many, even by the Italians!

As I was getting ready for bed, a few friends from this quaint village town of Pietragalla decided I should have a prelude to  the culinary delights I will be exposed to over the course of nine intense days of shooting.   They took me to the town’s famous restaurant “La Saittera”.  I wasn’t asked what I would like to eat instead I was simply surprised with a four-course meal. For starters an apetizer plate decorated with  Pietragalla’s cured meats and local mozzarella, then their traditional cicoria con il bolito: boiled cicoria with tomatoes, meat and pasta: Strascinati con peperoncino al Crusck, a hand-carved pasta made with dried and then deep fried sweet red peppers from the region.  Local cheese and espresso homemade cookies.  Yes, I ate everything at 11p.m!

cicorie 2 pasta con peperoncino

Tomorrow, together with a great productions team, we’ll discover the region of Materna.  First stop: the local market, then hit the famous Ristorante al Vecchio Frantoio, to discover a meat specialty, go dancing at the vintage bar pub, Vicole Cieco located in the stone houses of the Sassi di Matera and finally a nocturnal journey in a bakery shop to the discover the magic of making the famous bread from Matera. Stay tuned!