A farmhouse turned luxury vacation rental, Masseria Petrarolo in Puglia combines rustic warmth with elegance. Nine bedrooms in the villa and pool house are set in olive and citrus groves.
What was the inspiration behind Il Palazzo?
After many years travelling and living in different places in Italy and abroad, my husband wanted to return to his native region and own a place not too far from ‘his’ sea, where we could spend time with our family and friends.
Initially we bought a beautiful XVII c. palazzo in Giurdignano and renovated it completely. In doing so we discovered we liked having workers around all the time. So when the first project was finished we immediately started working on a new one in Muro Leccese. We thought we would never leave our palazzo in Giurdignano, but then fell in love with our new project in Muro.
The idea was to renovate and merge two historic properties, which had been lying abandoned in the center of Muro. Their gardens, though also abandoned for decades, were amazing. We decided to create a place that would match our personality and that would not be too conventional. The house would have to feel like a ‘masseria’ with a lot of gardens and outdoor space but still be right in the center of town. Eventually we sold the house in Giurdignano to friends, and they are very happy.
Muro became a never ending project. It started small, but it keeps growing and it is not finished yet. Currently the palazzo is composed of two separate ‘masseria’, each with its own gardens and pool. We are now working on the third one. However, we use it as a single house when we are there. We like having our children around, together with our and their friends. When we are not in Muro, we rent the houses together or separately, depending on the number of guests.
How would you describe the atmosphere at Il Palazzo?
When the house is full of people there is a fantastic energy, and you have all guests spread around enjoying every single detail of the property. The light flows through the large windows overlooking one of the pools. The garden is full of flowers. And at the end of the day everyone gathers around the very long table under the pergola for drinks and food.
However, the house was not made to overimpress. Although it is a large house by normal standards, we really kept it as simple as possible. When you see the palazzo from the outside you wouldn’t expect what lies inside. It’s a big surprise, much like a riad, and there are always new corners to discover: a patio, a towering palm tree, a hidden garden, several stone fireplaces…
The palazzo is spacious, with lots of indoor and outdoor space, one feels like being in the countryside but we are really at walking distance from our favorite restaurant. Notwithstanding its size and its comforts, the house has a precise style. It is not Milan glamour and design, it is not shabby chic. It’s simple, very easy and comfortable to live in. Perhaps, that’s why everybody likes it.