In the foreign collective unconscious, Italy is mainly recognized  for a few well known places , like Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, Naples, etc., but,  surprisingly, there are lots of other beautiful undiscovered places, where you can actually smell, feel the real Italy, where life is slower and less chaotic than the above mentioned big cities. Today, I'm going to discover the amazing Puglia Region, in the south east of Italy, also known as the "heel of the boot", to all of you. I think that Lecce, the city where I live, and its province ( has got lots of potentials (in terms of movies making too; not accidentally some Italian and foreign productions for TV and cinema have been made here), as you can see below. This also because Apulia Film Commission ( guarantees funds and tax credits. The musical "Holiday" produced by Eagle Pictures has been recently filmed in a town close to Lecce , just like the movie Walking on sunshine ( and Point Break 2 ( Last september a big Chinese production has been here too: . Yet, several investments in alternative energies have been made in my area (solar panels, sails/vanes, biomass, photovoltaic). Lecce was selected in 2010 by Lonely Planet release as one of the top 10 places to be visited ( and Salento (known as Peninsula Salentina) is the peninsula where my city is located (incidentally, it's been the top touristic destination in the last 4 years, in Italy). Furthermore, Puglia Region (globally also known as Apulia), the Peninsula Salentine specifically, has received more than 5M registered tourists during last year. So, to arouse your curiosity and to show you my roots, I sincerely invite you to visit my place, although  "virtually" only, at the moment, by checking the following links: (overview of the city from a drone) 
...just to emphasize the topic a bit more, I'd like to inform you that even the Academy award-winning American director Francis Ford Coppola has bought a house (our so-called "masseria", in my land, at Ugento (one of most attractive location), precisely,  just like  Helen Mirren (Oscar winning actress for "The Queen") who bought a 500-year-old "masseria" in Tiggiano, not far from Lecce and Ugento. Lately, Meryl Streep too has bought a house in my province, in Tricase Porto town specifically (
Other celebrities have shown interest in my place as indicated in this page: (Richard Gere filming a commercial in a town close to my city:

It's also important to know that Lecce has been candidated for being the European Culture Capital in 2019: (Airan Berg, the artistical director)
and the University of Salento is globally known to have one of the top NanoTechnologies Laboratory - NNL ( and

Here, you can find more info about the whole Puglia (Apulia) Region, where other locations are also touristically attractive:
olive harvest and grape harvest  experience september/october
Last september, the Indian tycoon Pramod Agarwal (  celebrated his daughter's wedding in my Region ( at this amazing facility:
Pls also consider that Alison deighton (
married to former London 2012 supremo and now Treasury Minister Paul Deighton) in partnership with the American Oil tycoon Ian Taylor are investing in this amazing place: , located in Lecce province, to build a "green" resort at zero impact on the environment (

I hope you enjoyed the virtual trip and felt like coming and discovering the beauties of my place directly: the perfect place for shooting films (amazing locations), chill out and settle down far from the chaos and frenzy of the big cities.

At last, for any kind of assistance/support, you might need, pls visit my personal website:

Thanks for your patience and for your attention, anyway!

Stefano Valente

Published by Stefano Valente