The eastern-most tip of Italy is made up of a region called Puglia. In fact, it’s so eastern that when you go for a coastal drive, your phone might change roaming from Italy to Greece (as did mine!). This area used to be the first port of call for traders coming/going to the orient. This means it has a mixture of Grecian, Turkish, African and Arabic influence.
Having just spent a week down there at a lovely hotel called Masseria Montelauro, I thought I’d write something about it. First off, the hotel is just outside Otranto which is south of Bari and Brindisi (where the closest airport is). The best way to get there is by car, we hired one from Hertz and cruised down the coastal roads.
A “masseria” is a traditional farmhouse to be found in the countryside of Puglia and typically built in “tufo”, a local sandstone. The masseria will be built around a courtyard, and surrounded by high walls designed to protect its residents since Turkish pirates occupied Otranto in 1480.
This particular masseria used to be a nunnery before it was converted into a south Italian oasis for maximum chill-axation. This place is full of animals by the way, they have a pony and a couple of donkeys as well as about 5 dogs, 2 cats, numerous lizards (of the friendly kind) and plenty of birds who use the swimming pool as their watering hole when they can.
All in all a lovely place to stay, great food, wine, perfect weather (save for a 20-minute storm) and very very relaxing indeed.
Here are a few snaps I managed to take with my iPhone.