“During the last edition of the Rome Film Festival I heard an interview with the Oscar winning British actress, Helen Mirren, saying she had bought a house in Tiggiano, a small town in the Salento area with just over 2,800 inhabitants, because, she said “˜life is good there’. Never has there been such targeted promotion. What better commercial could there be?”
The Councilor responsible for Tourism, Magda Terrevoli, is radiant and there is no need to convince her that cinema, with its star system, is an excellent advertisement for tourism in Apulia.
After the increases registered in 2008, bucking the trend of other Italian regions, Apulia also recorded brilliant results in 2009, coming second only to Tuscany for the months between January and May, “months in which the driving force is not the seaside but the authentic villages, the archaeological and cultural sites, the beautiful landscapes, the food and wines”.
Magda Terrevoli is convinced that – for a region – “investing in cinema and culture is as strategic as improving the beaches and accommodation structures”.
It was in this context that “Effetto Puglia”, the cine-tourism guide published last year, was created.
“It has a dual objective: it is directed towards quality travelers looking for itineraries that are off the beaten track of mass tourism, as well as the domestic and European audiovisual operators market”.
This is because the guide has, exceptionally, also been published in English and distributed on the English-speaking market.
“This guide, along with the institutional Apulia tourism internet portal viaggiareinpuglia.it“, explains Terrevoli, “represents one of the main elements of interaction with the English-speaking world that is increasingly investing in our region in terms of tourism”.
For now the “CinePuglia” section just makes a timid appearance in the portal, but the Councilor promises that it will be expanded: “we are planning to create new sources featuring the localities in Apulia which have been chosen by film directors, with indepth information, itineraries and much more”.
In the meantime, more and more movie people are falling in love with Apulia. Helen Mirren “” with her farm “Matine” in Tiggiano, a splendid residence that used to belong to the Princes of Gallone “” has unleashed a true and proper hunt for period or prestigious residences in the region.
It seems that Valeria Golino and Riccardo Scamarcio have purchased an 18th century farm in Polignano a Mare, whilst Raoul Bova has chosen Palazzo Papaleo in Bagnolo del Salento, an aristocratic 19th century building.
Gerard Depardieu has bought a period “palazzetto” near Lecce and is now looking for a vineyard.
The other tourists “˜par excellence’ include Giuseppe Bertolucci, Cristina Comencini, Diego Abatantuono and Gabriele Salvatores.
Ferzan Ozpetek is also thinking about buying a home in Salento, after being dazzled by Lecce whilst shooting ” Mine vaganti”.