Have you ever heard of Apulian Masserie? If you are curious to know more, read on and you will discover that these are the most popular places of the moment when anyone would like to spend their holidays.
Let's start with a pinch of history: these are agglomerates of rural buildings typical of southern Italy, the first traces of which date back to the years between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. We can, perhaps, speak of the first examples of "farms" where families of farmers and breeders lived in communities. A life linked by a double knot to the rhythm of the land and the needs of the livestock, which was divided between sowing, hard work, care and harvesting. Inside a farm, the entire transformation cycle developed, leading to the production of agricultural products, dairy products and animals, finished and ready to be consumed primarily for the livelihood of the families who lived there. The structure and the houses inside were not the property of the individual farmers, but belonged to a dominus that gave them board and lodging in exchange for work. Administering the work of the community was the task of the "Massaro": a farmer to whom the dominus entrusted the burden of organizing and monitoring the work within the Masseria.
They were created both to promote the agricultural economy and for a need for protection and defence, in fact, in those centuries, Salento was often the terrain for raids by looters coming mainly from the East. The Masseria thus, a structure built in the middle of the countryside and isolated from urban centres, also has the function of protecting the lives of its inhabitants. Surrounded by fences and equipped with watchtowers, they were the ideal place to defend themselves from pirates and Saracens who threatened the South of Italy.
But let's return to the present: for about a decade, after a long period of abandonment, we have witnessed a revaluation of the farms that live in this way, a second time. Perhaps because of their somewhat rustic charm and because they are totally immersed in nature, the farms are now a "refuge" for a surprising number of tourists, especially foreigners. Transformed into farmhouses, charming hotels, resorts or simple b&b, they offer the purest country experience together with all the comforts imaginable. Renovated to the highest standards, however, the farms still retain their original characteristics and the particularities linked to the territory. Strong, thick walls of blinding white, sobriety and rustic style reminiscent of ancient country life, meet luxury and refinement of modern elements in order to give guests a truly unique experience. If you live, for example, in a large and noisy city, accustomed to stress and greyness, imagine to wake up with the song of birds and the scent of flowers, open the window and see only green as far as the eye can see.
But the dream doesn't end here! Many of these facilities are equipped with swimming pools and spas, where you can relax and rejuvenate. You can then continue to be pampered with the cuisine and the magnificent traditional Apulian dishes.
In these places the cuisine is closely linked to well-being and simplicity: you will find seasonal vegetables and fruit, often grown right in the garden next door and you can enjoy cheeses and meats of the highest quality, all at km 0.
In some farms you will also find extra virgin olive oil and wine of their own production, so you can experience the thrill of seeing with your own eyes the plants and trees that give life to products that delight your palate. It is also possible to organize trips and excursions to discover the surrounding area: whether you love the hills or the beaches, be assured, that you will not be disappointed by the infinite beauty of Puglia. Many facilities also organize craft workshops or cooking classes where you can try and have fun with your partner or with the whole family.
We are sure that the success of the concept of Masseria is precisely in the combination of nature and comfort, relaxation and fun: it is a holiday in which the eyes are filled with beauty and the soul is enriched. It is a journey between authentic tradition and infinite blue skies, it is a dream to be realized at least once in a lifetime.