We made a big decision last week – we settled on the first part of our summer trip next year – southern Puglia! We actually have been there six years ago, and rented a trullo right outside a town called Martina Franca. The trullo regions’ unofficial capital is Alberello, and the small towns here in the summer are the epitome of Italian summer. Families stroll the streets well past 11PM, tons of carnivals and street fairs keep everyone occupied, and almost everyone makes two to three gelato stops. I’d heard that farther south had really become quite chic and this was the beach destination for Italians to summer in. While researching hotels, I realized that several of places that people were talking about were luxury masserias, places that do some agriculture on their property, but have restaurants and rooms as well. The term masseria is a southern Italian term and actually refers to a family home . They may or may not qualify under the governments standard of an agriturismo. Agriturismos are all over Italy and one of my favorite places in the world, Mandranova in Sicily, is considered a luxury one. To this day, I’ve never tasted better olive oil than I did at Mandranova. Read my review of our stay here. Anyways, here are some masserias we considered in Puglia:
Masseria Potenti – a beautiful working farm located on the western side of the region. The western side of the island is on the Ionian Sea, with lots of sandy dune beaches – and tends to be less visited than the east coast. Owned by two sisters this one has gorgeous hotel rooms and dinner served every evening around a communal table using products from the farm. It is a working farm so guests can partake in the vegetable garden or their “lab” of jams, oils, and sauces.
Furnirussi Tenuta was another place we considered, given its proximity to Otranto, where we wanted to be. The pool was probably my favorite of the ones we considered and apparently they have a shuttle to the beach with their own beach bar. Rooms looked spacious and modern. The main thing that we didn’t love were the fact that the rate is close to double if you mention you are bringing two children for the exact same room. However, the secluded location seems to give it a boutique feeling with only 24 rooms but lunch and dinner available every day.
Masseria Salinola was everything I was looking for – great pool, great restaurant, and oozing charm. It was close to the region that we had gone to before but that was the only reason we did not book this place.
Masseria Montenapoleone was another great affordable masseria with a little bit of an edge. It had everything we were looking for the most affordable rate we saw but again was not in the exact area we were looking for. Everything looks great here and by far the best value.
Finally, we found a place that had everything we were looking for with the added bonus of extremely great reviews of the rooms, service, and the food. It is also extremely close to the beaches near Otranto, which is where we wanted to be. What more can you ask for? Masseria Munti Bianchi, here we come!
Have you been to Puglia? Where did you stay?