FOR LOVE OF ITALY ☽
Welcome to For Love of the Moon Travel. We are Jim and Laura Terranova, two Americans who have spent the past several years working on the monumental task of obtaining Italian citizenship. A long journey filled with embassy-visits, tracking down marriage licenses, birth certificates and immigration papers, and translating mountains of documents has paid off! We finalized the paperwork at last, and it has taken us no time to happily uproot our American lives for this beautiful country we love so much. We packed what we could fit into a few suitcases and embraced Puglia as our new home. We came with one goal in mind: to live simply. Each day we’re working towards that and, to be honest, southern Italians make it pretty easy to do. We have found a magical place and we want to share our lifestyle here with laid-back travelers looking for a different and more authentic “Italian experience."
After almost a decade living and working in New York City, we both craved a change—space, room to grow our own food, fresh air, quiet, simplicity. Many things about living in the beautiful chaos of New York no longer fit us, so to satisfy our wandering minds we booked one-way tickets to Italy, where we both have strong heritage and roots, to explore the country farm by farm. We traveled throughout the beautiful regions, from blood orange groves in Sicily to tiny cabins in Tuscany to the bustling cities up north. Of all the stunning and culturally-rich places we spent time, choosing our new home was easy and obvious to us: Ostuni. After working on a small farm in the nearby countryside and experiencing the charm of this incredible Pugliese town, we felt at home and knew we had to find one of those little white stone houses and make it ours. So we started plotting and planning and sorting out how in the world we could make this work…
Flash forward two years: we now own a beautiful country home right in the middle of Valle d’Itria (Itria Valley). Our stone house overlooks an olive grove and is surrounded by friendly Italian neighbors and lots (and lots and lots) of fruit trees. It’s quiet and peaceful but with enough activity on our land to keep us busy. Our days are both relaxed and exciting: we usually start with a long walk through the olive trees and trullo-scattered countryside with our sweet dog, Bowie, before running out for outdoor market shopping in nearby Cisternino or Ostuni, having afternoon wines and coffees with neighbors and friends, working on our vegetable garden; making pizza, bread or cake in our outdoor forno, drinking wine on our terrace under the stars.
Puglia is rich in tradition. It’s a place where culture is built on hospitality, where the most important conversation of the day is often what you’ll be eating and with whom, where wine flows freely (and cheaply), where fruit grows in abundance around every corner, falling off the heavy trees and into your lap, where the sea is a piercing turquoise, a color so intense you can hardly believe you’re allowed to go in, where coastline is always in the near distance, where the peaceful olive trees are overwhelming in number. We were welcomed to Ostuni by happy and generous farmers, always sharing a good bottle of Primitivo and chatting away over homemade food straight from their backyard. The warmth in this countryside emanates as much from the spirit of the people here as it does from the bright sun and sea breeze. I imagine every new guest in Puglia is welcomed, more or less, as we were: with smiles, open arms, good wine, fresh food.
We want to do the same with our home. When you have good company, good food, good wine and a place to lay your head in southern Italy, you don’t need much.