“Minimalist chic meets rural Puglia in this modernist masseria conversion, housing 7 self-catering studios for 2-5”
Pared-down industrial chic is a surprise in rural Puglia. Rooms are whitewashed, with grey poured concrete resin floors, and door and window frames accented by occasional rich colour. Various artworks (on rotation), such as Roberto Bianchi’s photos, adorn the walls, so the building also works as a living exhibition space. Furniture and fixtures succeed in being stylish, comfortable and practical; each studio has an antique sideboard or chest, too. Windows come in all sizes and shapes with curtains or shutters to keep out the morning glare. There's cool lighting, B&W photos taken by Caroline herself, and display spaces have been carved into walls.
The largest studio is the Deluxe Suite (sleeps 2-3), which has a dining room, a bedroom and a small rear terrace, with a hot tub, built into the craggy hillside. Similar in size, the very private Romantic Suite (also sleeping 2-3) on the top floor has an open-plan sleeping, dining and lounge area, plus a bathroom with a hydromassage tub. Outside is a large sun-trap terrace with a table, chairs and loungers, and a distant sea view; there's also an additional second terrace which features the apartment's kitchenette.
The Family Suite (sleeps 2-5) has 2 ensuite bedrooms - a double and a double or twin, one with an in-room colour therapy bath with underwater lighting. Next door is the Junior Suite, which has 2 rooms: a bedroom also with colour therapy tub and a small sitting room where the kitchenette is located.
The other 3 studios are all one-room, sized as Standard Rooms (sleeping 2) and Superior Rooms (sleeping 2-3).
Many have domed ceilings and individual touches ranging from tapestry-work cushions to Panton chairs; all have an outside sitting area, which varies in size. The good quality double (not kingsize) beds have fine-quality sheets and soft creamy wool blankets; one Standard Room can be set up as a twin. Snazzy bathrooms have power showers, Oliva toiletries and copious towels. Apart from the Junior and Family Suites, don't expect acres of space.
Each studio has a kitchenette for basic self-catering (most are hidden away in a cupboard!) with 2 hobs, a small fridge, a sink, a kettle, a coffee maker, cutlery, bespoke hand-made chunky crockery, glassware, a chopping board, mixing bowls, a wooden spoon, a colander, a tin opener, a sharp knife, and pots and pans. Basics such as dishsoap, tea towels, teabags, coffee, UHT milk, fette biscottate, jam and sugar sachets are supplied on arrival. Note that unless the previous occupant left condiments or seasoning behind, you'll have to buy such items.
This impoverished region of Italy cultivated the cucina povera style of cooking - it's fun to seek out farmhouses where you can buy cheap, fresh local produce to bring back to the masseria - there is a convenient farm shop just a 10-minute stroll from the property, which sells fresh fruit, veg, bread, olive oil etc. If you want something more substantial, staff can arrange for pizzas to be delivered from a nearby pizzeria. There isn't much room to eat in the smaller studios, though you could always dine outside on your terrace.
If you want to eat out you have a wide selection of eateries in local towns and villages as recommended by Caroline as part of her My Puglia scheme. You may need to book ahead in season. You can also head into the closest town, Fasano (1km away), where you'll find a selection of cafés, trattorias and bars, as well as a supermarket.
Children are welcome, Caroline is a mother herself and is very accommodating to families and children. That said, the property is family-friendly rather than family-focused. There's lots for families to do in the area, note that the property does not have a swimming pool.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Even the Standard Rooms can take a baby (and one can have an extra bed too), while all the others can add an extra bed. The 2-bedroom Family Suite can sleep up to 4 people plus a baby; kids will love (as ours did) bathing in its colour therapy bath with its underwater lighting. The Junior Suite and Deluxe Suites are also good family options. If bringing a larger family/teens, then you may want to book the adjacent Junior and Family Suites together, or take the adjoining Standard Rooms, as one can be configured as a twin.
Available by arrangement
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Families will appreciate being able to self-cater, plus there are heaps of eateries a short drive away. Pizza can be delivered. Caroline recommends Parco di Castro, which has an inside courtyard, as being a good family-friendly restaurant nearby.
There's no pool, and some of the terraces/gardens are not that large. There's a river ravine behind the property so keep an eye on toddlers, though there is a wall/fence along its length