When I was a child I was convinced that fairies lived in Valle d’Itria even though I am not originally from Puglia and I don’t have any grandfather from Puglia who could have filled my head with invented or semi-true stories. The passion for this land was born far way; from distance I managed to recognise it and understand it. I began my career back, in 1995, in a gray and sad advertising agency in Rome, the caput mundi. But then, three years later, it came the awareness that this was not my place. I went back home, in Ostuni, the last stretch of Valle d’Itria, and in Valle d’Itria I decided to remain until today, finding a job for first and then my love in Martina Franca.
From 8 years I run my own small communication agency, complete with everything, beautiful, fit and creative. The obscene beauty of the Valle d’Itria gets you drunk. It’s hard to create bad things when you live in such a beautiful place. My curiosity has always pushed me to snoop into all paths and dirt road of this enchanted valley. And I have been lucky to see my passion becoming a real part of my work, taking care not only of brand communication but also of advertising productions. Among other things, I am also a local producer: a figure which is in between an organiser and a satellite navigator, able to provide endless possibilities of locations where you can take pictures and shootings for advertising campaigns and organize everything needed to make this happen in the best way.
It happens about once a month, they call you from some advertising agency or company (many are Italians but many other are foreign agencies) and ask you to show them something interesting, a right location suitable for the scope. And there we go, on roads and off-roads, between woods, vineyards, endless olive groves, farms and private villas ….
Our red earth has a colour of such a kind that never gets off your mind and neither from your heart. When the production team arrive, all the different characters are a bit cold and detached, but eventually they go away with the stracciatella and the burrata stuffed in the hand baggage and tons of friselle and taralli.It works like this: you wake up at 4 in the morning, loads at the airport a battalion of Nordic, of various nationalities, ready to get on something creatively, you push them into a fleet of van along with their 200 suitcases and take them to see some nice cosy places that can act as a “plate” (the technical word to mean the right scenario or background). After having seen what Valle d’Itria offers between nature and human madness, such as trulli and various trullerie, it takes very little that things start going as they should go.
They return home enchanted with some cadeaux that I normally offer to the nicest ones: pumi, bedside lights, and also olive oil, the good one. The core business of my agency is this: in the Valle d’Itria there are excellence in production of oil, wine and food of various kinds, generous and creative customers. For them I do labeling and packaging that then fly around the world, as also go worldwide all the photos of advertising productions that are taken here. It’s like living in a branch of Milan, you speak English 3 days out of 5 and also the various dialects of the triangle of the three provinces of Valle d’Itria.
Sometimes, fortunately infrequently, I have to deal with some small man with a jammed head and an impermeable heart. They are the ones who ask you how the mafia goes around here, they think that we all live only in the trulli, with caciocavallo, friselle and taralli hanging everywhere, they believe that it is always summer and if you tell them that it is not the case to shot swimwear in December, they reply that in southern Italy we don’t really want to work. So many common places to pave an entire motorway! On production days, I work an average of 18-20 hours and on a normal day 10 – 12 … with peaks of 15.
In the end life in Valle d’Itria flows intense and rich of emotions and finally I discovered that the fairies really exist, they live among the stones of the dry walls, among the evergreen fronds of the olive trees, among the grapes of the fat bunches of grapes. All of them have given this valley the magic you feel when you are here, and even more you feel it when you have to leave.
And yes. You go away, but then you come back.
You come back for vacation and then you decide to stay there.
Yes. It happens. It often happens and it is love.
Alessandra Corso adv