Before you come to Puglia and get to know about this beautiful place, do you know how many dialects or languages in Italy?
First time when I moved to Italy from Australia (yes I lived in Australia for years too), I went to Firenze/Florence for a language course because language schools in Puglia aren’t accepted by my Japanese embassy (long story). Obviously if you are EU citizen, you can attend at these schools but if you are non-EU citizen, normally you won’t be accepted to obtain student visa from your embassy..what a shame.
Anyhow, I was in Firenze and Italian is Toscany language. Let’s put this way: it was established as a standard Italian based on Toscany accent.
As you know, before Italia became a united country, there were so many different kingdoms. Puglia was under many different kinds of countries: France, Spain Kingdom of Sicily, Kingdom of Naples: Yes I’m already confused.
This was not only in Puglia. Every part of Italy was occupied by other countries or kingdoms therefore our famous dialects and never-ending languages were born.
Obviously Puglia has many influences from these kingdom period, as well as close by countries such as Albania and Greece. Greece had a huge influence in Puglia during the Magna Grecia (“Great Greek”). Taranto city and province became one of the biggest colony of Magna Grecia, and therefore there are still people who speaks Greek in Puglia.
I personally don’t know how many dialects or languages existed in Italy. Some says 600, and some says more than 1000. Who knows.
In Puglia, if you go to next city (literally 5-10km away), they speak different dialects, and you won’t understand any more. There are still similarities but not exactly same! It is so cool to learn all the dialects and languages one day.. 🙂
Here I found a cool youtube video about languages in Italy. If you look at it, you see how different each languages/dialects are! 🙂
Have a look!