Italy Kids

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Rich In History — The Puglia And Campania Winemaking Regions Of Italy

The regions of Puglia and Campania, Italy, are a favorite of Italian wine clubs for both the delicious wines produced and the rich history. The next time you purchase a bottle of wine from either of these regions, keep the history in mind as you enjoy the wine on your palette. Many people believe they can almost taste the past, even in today’s wines. This article looks at the colorful past of the Puglia and Campania winemaking regions of Italy.


Puglia, the heel and spur of the Italian boot, is rich in art and architecture, which reflects the many cultures that have dominated the region over the centuries. The Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans, Swabias, and Spaniards among others have all left their imprints there. The octagonal fortress in Castel del Monte was built by Emperor Frederick II in 1240. The towns of Otranto and Gallipoli evoke the Greeks and much of Lecce is Baroque in style, having flourished in the 17th Century. Alberobello is the capital of the “trulli,” which are whitewashed, circular buildings with conical roof tiles whose origins no one knows.

Also known as Europe’s wine cellar by Italian wine clubs, Puglia produces more grapes than any other region and normally surpasses Germany and all but six other nations. In the past, the region has sacrificed quality for quantity. Many of its wines were without distinction and were consumed locally or used for blending in the wines of other regions. During the last decade, producers have been making good to excellent reds, whites, and rose’ from a range of grape varieties.


The Greeks founded Napes, the capital of Campania. The Romans enlarged it before it suffered invasions by the Normans, Hohenstaufen, French, and Spanish among others. Established by the Greeks in the 11th Century BC, Naples was the earliest of a cluster of far-flung settlements throughout southern Italy. Many important figures of the age, including Pythagoras, Archimedes, and Aeschylus lived in these settlements and today you can find some of the best ruins of the ancient Greek world there. Along with mathematics, architecture, and drama, the ancient art of winemaking also flourished in the hills and valleys of the region as the cult of Dionysus spread. Aglianico and Greco, vines introduced by the Greeks, are still highly prized. The Greek historian Herodotus called this part of Italy ‘Oenotria,’ meaning the land of wine.

In the 16th Century, Sante Lancerio, the bottler of Pope Paul III, raved about the wines of the Kingdom of Naples and their reputation continued into the 19th Century. Subsequently, viticulture went into decline for decades as growers left the land and the majority of remaining producers ignored DOC regulations and instead chose to plant prolific vines rather than those that would produce premium grapes. In the last twenty years, producers have once again recognized the potential of southern Italy in general and have modernized their viticulture and winemaking techniques.

The vast history of the Puglia and Campania winemaking regions of Italy make for interesting conversation over a glass of wine, whether as part of Italian wine clubs or at a wine tasting party in your own home.

About the Author:
Kent Campbell is an author for the popular wine of the month club, Celebrations Wine Club. Celebrations Wine Club is one of the few red wine club associations offering the wines of Italy and California.


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5 Responses to Italy Kids

  1. tifferphish says:

    What crafts, games and recipes to teach kids about italy?
    Does anyone have any suggestions for games, crafts and a simple kid recipe to teach children so they can learn about Italy?

  2. Person#23 says:

    what are some facts about italy that kids would find entertaining?
    i dont want any boring leaning tower of pisa or pasta or pizza…i want some amazing interesting facts

  3. Peter M says:

    Here is a link to some kid- friendly Italian recipes:

    This site has a few cute ideas:
    including an Italian flag made out of rigatoni and a toilet paper roll “Leaning Tower of Pisa” craft. and
    has some activity suggestions and games

    and you can find a printable flag template for Italy at:

  4. missy s says:

    Has any of you moved your family (husband, wife, kids) to Italy? Where did you work? How did you like it?
    I am thinking of moving my family from the US to Italy. I have never been there and have extended family there. I am wondering if any of you have done this. And if you missed the US, what sort of challenges did you face and did your children like it? Overally, what is/was the exerpience like? I am so curious about this. I don’t want to make a mistake.

  5. shamrock says:

    Well, I am the child of parents who did just that in 1971. I was 10 at the time. I have been living here ever since, in the beautiful city of Rome! Your’s is a very interesting question, but not easy to answer briefly. I have to admit that, at the time, I hated my parents for wrenching me away from my environment, my friends and taking me to a country I did not know with a language I didn’t speak at the time. But very shortly after we moved, I adapted very well, as did my 2 sisters, whereas my brother never did like living here and moved back to the States as soon as he became of age. I can say today that I am very happy here. One thing that made it easier is that Italian kids are very easy going with new comers. The Italians in general like Americans and are very warm with them. My father was a psyco-analist, so until he learned Italian he catered to the English speaking community here.
    How old are your kids? The younger they are, the easier it will be for them. And what kind of business are you in? I don’t want to mislead you. It’s an enormous decision and it does take some time to adapt. The Italian language is difficult and takes a couple of years to learn fluently. However, Europe is wonderful, less competitive than the States and, I find, with less social pressure. That is not to say I don’t love my country of origin. I simply love both my countries. I hope I’ve been of some help. I would have loads more to say on this topic, but this really isn’t the right place. Whatever you decide, good luck to you and your family!

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