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.
Masseria Salento has belonged to my family since 1700 and has stayed true to its roots. It’s much more than just a retreat, but a hideaway with culture and nature.
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.
On the ground floor of the villa has a spacious living room, as well as a large dining room, both with fireplaces and direct access to the gardens and terrace. The industrial-style kitchen is fully equipped. Additionally, there is a double bedroom with an en-suite shower, as well as a guest bathroom, cloakroom, and a utility room.
The four main bedrooms are all on the upper floor. A staircase leads up to the master double bedroom with an en-suite shower, Jacuzzi, and also access to a private terrace. The other three double bedrooms are connected to the roof terrace.
In total there are seven bedrooms, each uniquely decorated. Each bedroom has a view of the vineyards and olive groves, as well as a private bathroom. Only 10 meters away, in the guesthouse by the pool, are another two bedrooms, one single and one double. All rooms are directly connected to the swimming pool and have air conditioning, heating, and Wi-Fi. This lodging is ideal if you’re looking for a bit more privacy.
There is a beautiful private swimming pool on the property that is 2.7 meters deep, with built-in steps and an outdoor shower. It is open from mid-May until mid-September, however it is possible to open the pool on request for an extra charge outside of these months. Guests also have access to a courtyard, outside dining areas with pergolas, and the gardens, including a vegetable garden and an orchard.
The services at the masseria include laundry service and housekeeping. The house has wireless internet, state-of-the-art audio and visual entertainment, a traditional pizza oven, a barbecue station, ice machine, pool table, games for children, and four bicycles that guests can use. Upon arrival, we like to greet our guests with a welcome basket, which includes coffee, tea, milk, rusk, and jam.
Extra services, such as a pick-up service from the airport or train station as well as private cooking lessons in the comfort of the villa, can of course be arranged upon request.
At Masseria Salento, the main activity is to relax. You can go for walks or bike rides on the property, swim in the pool, or learn how to cook Italian cuisine. Wine tasting tours at Angiulli’s wine factory can also be arranged.
We highly recommend two beaches: Marina di Lizzano on the Ionian Sea, and Paragrafo 25 Ostuni on the Adriatic Sea. The beach on the Ionian Sea is not as frequented by tourists, more simple and with less beach clubs. You will find them to be long white beaches that are perfect for the entire family.
All the surrounding villages have weekly markets where you can find vintage items, antiques and much more. Visiting the ceramic quarter in Grottaglie is also a must and we can arrange ceramic lessons hosted by our close friend Enza Fasano, who has the most amazing shop and ceramic studio. To experience the area’s unique architecture, our guests should visit Matera, Lecce, Martina Franca, or Cisternino.
Masseria Salento is located in the countryside, overlooking Salento’s beautiful hills. Grottaglie, a town famous for its history in ceramics, is not far from the villa. The villa is right in the middle of Apulia, between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. What is so unique about Masseria Salento is that it is a very large estate on top of rolling hills, surrounded by exclusive privacy yet only a short drive away from all the top spots. This area has a mixture of very rich, layered cultures that go back over two thou-sand years, with numerous invasions, conquests, and settlements. One could say that this area really features some of the most interesting cultural sights in Southern Italy such as Lecce, a stunning Baroque city. Also, the UNESCO listed trulli dwellings of Alberobello and the medieval city of Ostuni are within a short drive as well as Castellana Grotte, spectacular underground caves that are just an hour north. Additionally, we are only 30 mins from the airport.
The villa rental is open all year round. However, the best times of the year to visit are from May to October. During these months the pool is open, the sea is warm enough to swim in, and everyone is relaxed and at ease. At the same time, spending the holidays here, such as Christmas or Easter, is also very interesting. During those times you can concentrate much more on cultural and culinary experiences. 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.
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