Pamela’s passion

A young woman from Apulia, her love for her land and her search for independence

Today she runs B&B Sant'Anna in Ceglie Messapica (

Today she runs B&B Sant'Anna in Ceglie Messapica (tel. +39.0831.1985307) and sells the family extra virgin olive oil. The story of Pamela Filomeno, however, is also made of study and a touch of rebellion too. After having built her own identity, regardless of the privileges her family could grant her, she returned to Apulia which, as one can understand from her words, she loves dearly

I already knew I was a lucky girl when, barefoot, I used to press the grapes in my grandfather’s “palmento” next to his trullo, and when I used to run, again, barefoot, on the red ground, under the sun and in the midst of the cicada’s singing, constantly risking to hurt myself with a white stone. Putting my feet in so much poetry made me the victim of an obsessive sense of belonging to my land.

For those who, like me, were born in the Eighties, experiencing so much beauty, tradition, farming culture is not a given thing at all, not even in the South. As the granddaughter of a farmer and daughter of an entrepreneur, I could have afforded comfortable journeys, design clothes and a private university, but I could never detach myself from the luck of having experienced how simple things can be great. For this reason I decided to invest in my training, and return to my Apulia to offer my intellectual contribution and facilitate the rebirth of the same charming stories my grandfather used to tell me and beyond.

The oil, and the smile, of Pamela Filomeno

The oil, and the smile, of Pamela Filomeno

I still didn’t know how to do this. I started in a rebellious way, from Tunisia where I went to work as a hostess, against my father’s will, as he did not appreciate that his daughter would be in an Arab country by herself despite having the opportunity of growing, as an entrepreneur, in the family business. However, he was the one who had taught me how to be simple workers before becoming a manager in a business: working with my father and sensing the beautiful land where my eyes got lost in a sea of golden grapes would make me fall in love, it wouldn’t widen my horizons.

I studied International Sciences because I needed to understand the world, but I wrote two dissertations on Apulian agriculture within the European context, I spent all the savings left after university in books and travels, I became a European expert and accomplished my dream of moving to Brussels. Meanwhile, my parents bought a house from the 19th century in Sant’Anna, a neighbourhood in Ceglie Messapica, where my father and my grandparents were born

Inside one of the bedrooms of the B&B Sant'Anna in Ceglie Messapica

Inside one of the bedrooms of the B&B Sant'Anna in Ceglie Messapica

I felt immediately responsible for preserving every stone in this house and I desired to develop the hospitality that has always characterised Ceglie’s culture; this was my way of accomplishing my dream, speaking of my land, building my identity, independent of my being the daughter of an entrepreneur, in order to walk by myself, with my skin attached to me, and experience the management of the family business.

I’m just back from China. I didn’t go there just to sell my Olio Extravergine Sant’Anna, but an emotion, because this olive oil has my story in it: I’ve always added emotions to potential, skills, opportunity and material goods. As a young woman with an international training, in Southern Italy, in a small village in the province, sometimes it is incredibly difficult and suffocating: still, it has a value and such great rewards that I am incredibly happy when I touch, smell, eat and live in Ceglie Messapica. I believe you cannot really know a person until you know what they’re doing in their dreams and in my own dreams, I live here, in this way, waiting to host my travellers.

Female chef's life stories

Women who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view


Pamela Filomeno