Fasano Award ‘All crazy for Puglia’ by Francesco Lenoci


The report of prof. Francesco Lenoci at the Fasano 2021 Award, at the Carrisi Cellars in Cellino San Marco in Salento.


Last year I began my talk by saying: “I think the organizers of the Fourth International Award” Giuseppe Fasano – Grottaglie the city of ceramics “, which takes place at Estates Al Bano di Cellino San Marco, they could not have chosen a better title for this report of mine: “Educate yourself and educate yourself to beauty and goodness” ».

It’s been 12 months… .any of you are familiar with budgets he knows that after 12 months he draws up a budget.

Well, my personal balance has been exhilarating with regard to the side “Educating me”, just enough with regard to the side “Educating to the beautiful and the good”.

Francesco Lenoci Fabrizia Dentice di Frasso

And now… everything is changing.

Last Saturday, in the morning, with the cap of a professor at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan I did my first lesson in Largo Gemelli… a lesson in dual mode… Many connected online… ..but 18 of my students in attendance… .. in the classroom… .I wanted to hug them one by one.

Last Saturday, in the afternoon, with the cap of honorary President “Pugliesi a Milano”, I connected with those who were gathered in Bari at the headquarters of the Puglia Region for the event Walking in the Next Puglia and I shouted to the Young and the Talents: “The Future is now …. Just walk with your feet on the ground … Ready to climb over obstacles and climb walls”.

And now… ..if you pass a test, I’m talking about the theme of this fifth edition of the International Award “Giuseppe Fasano – Grottaglie the city of ceramics: All Crazy for Puglia“.

Ready… ..In the history of cinema, a 1975 film directed by Milos Forman stands out. Its title is: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

Francesco Lenoci Maria Liuzzi

When the character played by Jack Nicholson arrives at the hospital and meets his colleagues for the first time, asks them a question: “Are you all crazy?”. . . . . The answer, accompanied by many smiles, is “Yes”.

And then ready.… Go…. “Are you all crazy about Puglia?”…. “yes”…. “Milanese” answer as Dino Abbascià, a great friend of Al Bano, Giuseppe Fasano and many others present here would have said…. To pass the test you need an “Apulian” answer….

“Are you all crazy about Puglia?” ….. “YES”….

“Are you all crazy about Puglia?” ….. “YES”.

BRAVI, you have passed the test: I am proud of you.

Let me wear for a minute another of my caps: the Economist’s.

Last night I reread the “Economy of Puglia” Report, report drawn up in June 2021 by the Bari branch of the Bank of Italy.


Based on estimates updated to 2019, the last year available, the wealth of Apulian families net of financial liabilities, it amounted to € 394 billion, equal to approximately € 98,000 in per capita terms, a figure significantly below the national average and that of the southern regions. Net wealth was 6.6 times the disposable income; this ratio is the lowest since 2008 and remains at lower levels than both the whole country and the South (page 33)…. in substance we are a bit poor.

Since 2015 the European Commission has been developing the DESI – Digital Economy and Society Index, a composite indicator that summarizes the digital performance of the Member States on the basis of the following factors: infrastructure equipment and the degree of use of networks (connectivity), levels of digital competence, the use of online services by families, the level of digitalization of businesses and the offer of digital services by the Public Administration.

In 2020 Italy was in 25th place out of 28 EU countries in the general indicator and last place for the levels of digital competence, highlighting a strong delay in the use of the Internet by citizens and in the integration of technologies by companies. The country was instead in line with the European average for connectivity and e-government.

Well, in 2019 a reworking of the Bank of Italy on a regional basis of the indicator shows that the level of digitization of Puglia was lower than the national average, in almost all of its components. (page 62) …. in essence we are poor in digitization.

I take off the cap as an economist.

The question… obviously provocative… arises spontaneously:
Despite the disastrous rankings in wealth and digitization continue to be again “Everyone crazy for Puglia?” …. “YES”.

I’m with you. Yes, always yes, very strongly yes.

I try to state 3 reasons so we confirm YES.

Yes, always yes, very strongly yes, because we prefer poetry to prose. The wonderful poem is by a poet who also lived in Taranto, a great poet: Alda Merini.

“I don’t need money

i need feelings

of words


of wisely chosen words

of flowers called thoughts

of roses said presences

of dreams that inhabit the trees

of songs that make the statues dance

of stars that murmur

in the ears of lovers.

I need poetry

this burning magic

the heaviness of words

that awakens emotions and gives new colors “.

From Poetry to the Heart it is a short step. Yes, always yes, very strongly yes, because we prefer the heart to the mind.

Where was I on Monday 1st December 2003?

I was in Milan at the Angelicum of via della Moscova.

At my side Giuseppe Giacovazzo (from Locorotondo…… greeting the mayor of Locorotondo), Giuseppe De Tomaso, Dino Abbascià and Father Eligio.

As a serious professional, Al Bano rehearsed, went to change and joined us.

For the combination of combinations we were gathered there to present a book by Giuseppe Giacovazzo, published by Palomar, entitled “Puglia his heart”.

I read the back cover: “Here they are the southerners: little civic sense, little love of country, disorganized. . . . And the Apulians? Arid people of the South. More reason than passion. We did not have the unification of Italy, we did not have Mazzini, Garibaldi, Cattaneo. . . .

But if you want to understand Puglia, become a stranger, look at it with the eyes of those who come from afar. You will understand why they stop spellbound to contemplate the villages, the churches, the castles, the sea. You will rediscover gestures that you thought were lost, humanity and beauty where habit cancels. Elegance and fantasy in the dialects. Kindness and discretion in the baroque squares, in the alleys. You will discover the secret heart of Puglia. Like a novel ”.

Like a novel….

Yes, always yes, very strongly yes. Try to go for a ride through the narrow streets of Bari Vecchia… .You will feel like you are on a film set….

Try visiting Giuseppe Fasano Ceramiche’s shop in Grottaglie. Your eyes and brain will go haywire due to the astounding variety of colors and the amazing variety of shapes (royal plates, menzani dishes, pine cones, jars, oil lamps, sruli, ciarle, tureens, trimmoni, pupe, pumi, whistles, campanieddi, trumbetti, scucarieddi, pasturi, holy water stoups, horses with riders, crockery, tiles, crastes, limmoni, pitali, minzane, vummili, capase, capasoni, scafaree, pendriali, cammautti, scutedde, quartare, piretti….). But being shipwrecked in that sea of ​​beauty will be very sweet.

I conclude.

With a haiku:

“Fasano Award

to the Al Bano estates

and all crazy “.

(Benedetta Caterina)

Praise and glory be to all the crazy ones for Puglia, starting with those who receive the “Giuseppe Fasano” Award. Congratulations and thank you.


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