Ferzan Ozpetek: “Don’t destroy the beauty around you!”

He was born in Istanbul and came to Italy in the 70ies, to work as a journalist at first, then went studying in Rome and at some point never wanted to turn back: Ferzan Ozpetek (“Le Fate Ignoranti”) is one of the most famous italian directors of our times. He loves Puglia where he made his last big film, “Mine Vaganti”, and since he made many friends down here over the years, he’s trying to come back as often as possible to spend his holiday between Lecce, Otranto and Gallipoli. We met him recently, having dinner at La Castellana Beach, and asked him why Puglia became one of his places of the heart. You can read the whole interview in the August edition of Ali del Levante.

Cos`è che le piace di più della Puglia, oltre che del Salento, la sua terra del cuore?
Mi piacciono il cibo, le persone, le spiagge, che sono le più belle del mondo. Insomma, è tutto un misto di caratteristiche che mi sembrano molto autentiche e regalano un’atmosfera bellissima. La Puglia è un paese veramente speciale … finché non diventa turistico! Dico sempre: che necessità c’è di modernizzare ad ogni costo i vostri negozi nei centri storici? Perché non lasciate tutto com’è, classico, carino e molto suggestivo? Non cambiate le cose belle, dico a tutti quelli che stanno per farlo, soprattutto per non distruggere la bellezza genuina di questi luoghi.

What do you like most in Puglia?
I love the food, I love the people and I love the beaches that belong to the most beautiful ones in the world. It is a whole mixture of characteristics that I consider very authentic and that create this beautiful atmosphere. Puglia ia a very special country… It shouldn’t become too touristy though! I keep saying: Why do you have to modernize your shops in the storic center by all means? Why don’t you leave everything the way it is? Classic, beautiful and so appealing? Don’t change the beauty around you, I can’t help myself telling all the people who are about to do it, because they would destroy the genuine beauty of the places around them.