The Salento Manor House

Galatone, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy
Book from Book from £616 per night

A medieval mansion turned beautifully designed villa with pool, in the heart of sunbleached, olive-shaded Salento (sleeps 8-10)

This is what you dream of in Italy: a grand country villa, ancient olive trees, citrus groves, the sound of silence in the countryside, a long outdoor dining table, and swimming pool surrounded by pale-stone paving set against the blue-green Mediterranean countryside, and only a short hop from the shimmering Ionian Sea.

It's not just the house that won us over, however, but the location. It's just outside Galatone, a Baroque Puglian town with ancient origins, in Salento, Puglia's deep southern soul. It's close to the lovely beaches of Gallipoli and Galatina with its exquisitely frescoed church (a 10 minute-drive away). Salento is a taste of the real Italian south, famous for its delicious food and traditions such as the hypnotic tarantella, a dance born out of exorcism, most famously celebrated in Galatina.

The Salento Manor House began life as a medieval tower, a fortified residence, built to defend against incursions from the sea in Italy's deep south. In the 17th century, when the fortifications were no longer necessary, it was converted into a Baroque mansion. It's now been beautifully transformed into an idyllic escape, with its original features preserved, including carparo (local stone) carvings, vaulted ceilings and frescoes.

Highs

  • A glorious, unique historic house with beautiful design and plenty of space inside and out
  • There are four classy bedrooms, plus the option of an additional two guests in an outbuilding, so this works equally well for a group of friends or for families
  • A very tranquil setting in the Puglian countryside
  • The 12-metre pool is a godsend in summer
  • Great location – around 10km from a lovely stretch of coast, and close to interesting towns and sights

Lows

  • Interiors have been kept deliberately authentic - minimal furniture, huge spaces
  • There are only two bathrooms, one of which has a rather impractical looking tub
  • You'll need a car to explore; beaches are 10-20 mins' drive away, shops and restaurants a little closer
  • Min stay of 7 nights all year round (but arrival day is flexible)
  • A house this special does not come cheap (and note, the end-of-stay cleaning is extra)

Best time to go

Spring (May-June) can be lovely, when the weather is usually balmy, wild flowers run riot and the beaches and towns are uncrowded. September is also lovely and the sea has warmed up after the long hot summer. High season runs from July to August, when the region is at its liveliest and very hot, but there are music and food festivals every night in towns across the area.

Our top tips

Don't miss the chance to take a guided tour of the glorious villas in the Cenate area of Nardò, a kind of historic millionaire's row between the sea and the town, with each villa grander than the last.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Historic Villa
  • 4-5 bedrooms
  • Self-catering; chef on request
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The manor house has four elegantly pared back bedrooms, with the majestic character and high ceilings that go with such a historic building. Expect distressed plaster walls, stone floors with the odd reed rug, and thick walls with shuttered windows. Furnishings and gadgetry are minimal, in order to preserve the historic spirit, and to comply with local conservation regs. You get comfortable beds with deep mattresses, rich headboards edged in piping, and a few retro low-slung armchairs. One double bed sits under an ornate alcove, with the headboard echoing the shape of the arch. Two bedrooms can be made up as twins on request. An additional two people can be housed in an outbuilding (which has its own ensuite bathroom) if you are a larger party.

There are just two bathrooms, one where the shower is artfully fitted into an arched alcove. The other has a huge fireplace and a wide shallow tub; we suspect you'd just use the shower attachment here. Basins resemble the historic carvings of the interior. This is a design in subtle and pleasing tune with its surroundings.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Blender
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Pool towels
  • Satellite TV
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The large kitchen, which is open plan with the downstairs sitting room, has all the usual appliances along the side wall, and a beautiful wood-hewn table centre stage. Or eat outside if you prefer. You can help yourself to organic fruit and vegetables for much of the year. For groceries the nearest supermarket is a 3 minute drive, and local markets include Galatone (Saturday mornings) and Nardò (Friday mornings). If you don't fancy cooking, you can arrange a private chef to come and cook for you, with meals featuring the incredibly flavoursome, sun-ripened local produce.

There are many great restaurants in easy reach, in Galatone, Galatina, Nardò, and Gallipoli.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Microwave
  • Oven
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • You're only a short drive from the beach, with white-sand stretches lapped by the Ionian Sea. Check out Santa Caterina with its seafront bars and restaurants, and the beautiful cove of Santa Maria al Bagno
  • The house lies between the three Baroque towns of Nardò, Galatina and Galatone
  • Don't miss the incredible rich tapestry of 15th-century frescoes of Basilica di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria in Galatina
  • The walled city of Gallipoli, on an almost-island, jutting into the sea, is a beautiful place to explore
  • You're close to the dramatic coast around Torre Uluzzo, where there is a ruined tower and a popular spot for tuffo (cliff) jumping into the sea

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are very welcome, and there's a small wooden tree house for kids to play in in the grounds. This is a wonderful place to come as a family, with four hectares of garden, and plenty to see and do in the surrounding area to please all ages.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Two rooms can be set up as twins on request. An additional outbuilding which sleeps two can be added into the mix if you are a larger family party coming with teens.

Baby equipment:

  • Two baby cots
  • Two high chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool (usually open May-September)
  • Wooden tree house with board games
  • Books and toys

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches (nearest is 15-20 minutes drive)
  • Country walks

Families Should Know:

Two doors leading to the pool to be locked

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour (Brindisi)
  • Hospital: 12 minutes (Galatina)
  • Shops: 3 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Salento Manor House is 2km from the town of Galatone, and 8km from Nardò, in the southern Puglia peninsula. It's 10km from the coast.

By Air:
Brindisi (Salento) is 1 hour's drive; Bari is 2 hours.

From the Airport
You will need a rental car. The villa has ample parking.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Brindisi (Salento) Airport 73.0 km BDS
  • Bari (Karol Wojtyla) Airport 192.0 km BRI

Other:

  • Beach 10.0 km
  • Shops 1.4 km
  • Restaurant 6.0 km

Rates for The Salento Manor House

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