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Into the arms of Mamma Italia

Two frazzled writers head to historic, healing Italy for comfort, rest and pleasure – and to relight their passion for la dolce vita

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience” PAULO COELHO


Cocooned and renewed in Puglia

Southern Italy feels like a second home to Leanne Bracey – the ideal destination for a curative retreat, where ancient traditions meet restorative treatments, to ease her from her turmoil

I LOVE PUGLIA and always discover something new here. Between the seaside haven of Pogliano la Mer, the higgledypiggledy streets of Ostuni and the conical trulli houses of Alberobello lie expanses of olive trees, whispering the secrets of Puglians and their age-old customs. I hear about tarantism, or ‘dancing mania’, an ancient therapy in which women gyrate in a trance for days to rid themselves of wolf spider venom, or so it was widely believed in the 1400s. I also discover a spa that uses tarantism as the basis for a healing, immersive experience, and I am intrigued.

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