FAUSTO DE GIUSEPPE – The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Minervino di Lecce is not your average town in southern Italy.  With evidence of human existence dating back to the bronze age, the town has evolved through the centuries to become a cultural focal point in both archeology and religion.  In fact, one of the largest dolmens in Puglia is located in Minervino di Lecce, and the town also maintains one of the most elaborate St. Joseph’s Day traditions in all of Italy.  The town is also home to several important churches, including one of the most refined renaissance churches in southern Puglia, and two renaissance palaces that have been converted into hotels – one being the 5-Star Palazzo Ducale Venturi.  But as we all know, behind every great town there is a great man, and in Minervino di Lecce, that man is Mayor Fausto De Giuseppe – the man, the myth, and the legend.

The Fausto Team
Mayor Fausto De Giuseppe (standing in the middle of the first step with the grey beard) and his town council

Mayor Fausto De Giuseppe has been serving as Mayor of Minervino di Lecce for the past 5 years, and is currently running for re-election with a talented team consisting of the Vice Mayor, Rossano Urso; the Councilors (assessori), Sergio Corvaglia and Stefania Carrisi; and the Advisors (consiglieri) Antonio Accoto, Giuseppe Della Luna, and Marco Panico.  Fausto’s team is composed largely of freelancers: Fausto is an accountant by trade, and the others are engineers, surveyors, and labor consultants.  Some are employees of the ministry of defense.  As a result of the broad background of the members, Fausto’s team is strong and politically mixed (the team cannot be defined by a single political party).  This is rare for council members, since historically most have come from predominantly civic backgrounds.

But most importantly, however, and the reason I found the inspiration to write this blog post, is that Mayor Fausto De Giuseppe is the coolest and most personable Mayor I have ever met.  Having had the opportunity to spend some time with Mayor Fausto during this year’s St. Joseph’s Day celebrations, and observing his involvement with the Minervino di Lecce community of 3,600 residents, I found his devotion to his community sincere, and his enthusiasm for his community addictive.

See the video clip below showing me, Mayor Fausto and members of his council performing a popular Tik Tok move called “hitting the woah.”  Mayor Fausto made a couple Tik Tok videos this March, one of which went viral.

Mayor Fausto and Vice Mayor Rossano hitting the "Woah"

One character trait in particular that distinguishes Mayor Fausto as a mayor and politician is his fantastic sense of humor.  Mayor Fausto, while devoted to his community, is not afraid to have fun and embrace the important and healthy things in life – relationships, laughter, and an overall la dolce vita mentality.  Mayor Fausto has proven that he can not only be the life of the community in which he serves, but also the life of the party.

Fausto De Giuseppe

Most of us are not residents of Minervino di Lecce, and therefore will not be able to vote in the upcoming election, but that does not mean we cannot give our support in other ways to a man who deserves support.  Let’s all vote for Fausto De Giuseppe and his team in spirit if we cannot cast our physical vote in person.  Just because we do not live in Minervino di Lecce, does not mean Mayor Fausto’s term will not impact us.

To the contrary, Mayor Fausto welcomes all Italian Enthusiasts to his town throughout the year, especially during St. Joseph’s Day celebrations.  Think of Mayor Fausto De Giuseppe and his team as our friends, and if you are visiting Minervino di Lecce, please stop by the town hall for a warm welcome.

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