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.
How would you describe Masseria Salento in a nutshell?
Masseria Salento is a 16th century villa rental in the countryside of Grottaglie, which is located in Apulia’s Salento peninsula in southern Italy. This renovated luxury masseria, which is a typical fortified farmhouse in Apulia, is surrounded by 85 acres of vineyards, olive groves, fig, pear, and pomegranate trees. There is also a large pool with lots of space for sunbathing and great views of the hills of Salento.
How would you describe the atmosphere at Masseria Salento?
The environment of Masseria Salento is rather intimate and personal with a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, even though the house is big and the rooms are large. The colours and textiles are natural, spiced up with some design furniture to give a contemporary feeling along with the traditional spirit of the house. We often hear from guests that staying here enables them to relax and forget about stress and everyday routines.
What is so special about Masseria Salento to you personally?
Ever since 1700, Masseria Salento has belonged to my Italian family and has stayed true to its historical roots. It’s much more than just a traditional retreat, but a hideaway with culture and nature. Masseria Salento is sprawling over 85 acres of beautiful rolling hills, olive groves, and vineyards. At the heart of the property is our organic farm, which is an inspiring and serene place. Everything here is organic and in addition to our wine and olive oil production, the masseria has its own vegetable garden and an orchard, with everything from fig trees to almonds, plums, peaches, and pear trees. Some of our ancient olive trees are over 500 years old!
Please tell us about the food.
The housekeeper at the masseria is also a chef who can prepare amazing dishes. We really want our guests to make use of the orchard and vegetable garden. Apart from this, there are local shops and markets in Grottaglie, which is the nearest town only 5 mins away. You will find the tastiest grapes there. Apulian food is simple, healthy, and plentiful. It is famous for delicious homemade meals with what the Italians call ‘poor kitchen’, or cucina povera. Meaning, the locals cook with what is available to them, such as with fresh seafood, orecchiette pasta, meat ragú, tomatoes, artichokes, and lamb. Only 14 kilometres from Masseria Salento is Ceglie Messapica, known as the culinary town in Apulia. The restaurants there are definitely worth a visit.
What’s your background and what was your inspiration to open Masseria Salento?
I am an architect, originally from Oslo, Norway and have worked in renovation, interior design, and art in cities like New York, Milan, and Brussels. Our company, Albeli, was founded in Naples and creates tailored projects by mixing interior design, architecture, hospitality, and art. We start each project with tradition, taking into account each property’s specific location and function. Over the years this allowed Albeli to specialize in how to bring antique places back to their origin, while introducing modern efficiency.
At the same time our business slowly developed into more than just architecture, as more of our friends started to ask if they could rent one of our villas. Our philosophy of combining culture with hospitality and a familiar atmosphere is what our guests are really looking for. With us, guests can enjoy holidays in an exclusive environment, all the while surrounded by art and modern aesthetics.
Please tell us about the interior design and architecture. How would you describe it?
For us it was always important that the interior is in harmony with the structure of the house and its architecture. As long as everything is in balance, I like to integrate modern design with the traditional. The rooms at the villa are large and with very high ceilings, which we have decided to furnish with some compelling wooden furniture. As Grottaglie is one of Italy’s most famous pottery towns, we wanted to include lots of pottery pieces in the house as well. The traditional structure of the house is also beautifully contrasted with a lovely, modern swimming pool.