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 is the story behind Trullo Piccolo?
I travel a lot for business and when I visit parts of the world that I like, I return with my family for the summer holidays. This is what happened with Puglia. I came for an architectural project and fell in love with the hospitality, the people. In Puglia, the food tasted better, the light was amazing. There were certain elements about the place that were important to us.
When we returned in 2006 with our young daughters, everyone loved it, so we started hunting for a property. Years later, a friend was getting married and I saw this derelict trullo up on the hill and mentioned that I would be interested to purchase the property if it was for sale. The owner happened to be in the group and a few months later, we bought it. In 2015, our building permit was approved and we finished work in 2016. We have been renting it out bit by bit ever since.
What was your inspiration as an architect and how would you describe the atmosphere?
I was inspired by the silence — you can hear your heartbeat in the evening — and the sky was full of stars. We live in London, so creating somewhere that puts you at peace with nature was important. I wanted to design something with simple lines but within the context of the place. Our guests love it because it is quite open — you can come with grandparents or a second family and spend time together while also having lots of privacy.
The property’s focal points are its olive trees and lavender, so we designed a glass kitchen where you feel like you are in the middle of a garden. Opposite the trulli we have the outdoor dining area and a small swimming pool that’s a favourite place for children.
When we received the building permit, we constructed a villa 20 metres from the existing trulli. This is a fully self-contained stone building that really blends into the setting. Inside is very contemporary, with lots of niches to display my wife’s sculptures. There is lots of natural light and it has been oriented so that it doesn’t overheat in summer and stays nice and cosy in the mid-season.