The Puglia region of southern Italy is known for its unique trulli houses, the white cone-shaped structures that dot the landscape. But the masseria, or stone country house, is another type of residential building unique to Puglia, and many have been converted to lodgings, ranging from rustic to luxurious. Since masserie were originally farms, many that have switched to hosting guests are still often working farms producing olive oil, wine, or produce in scenic countryside settings. See What is a Masseria?
Here is a selection of top masseria lodging in Puglia or Apulia. Most of these masserie are on the Masseria coast, between Bari and Brindisi, or on the Salento Peninsula south of Lecce.
Masseria San Domenico is a sprawling luxury resort with 49 rooms, a golf course overlooking the sea, a spa, a stunning freeform swimming pool, and 6 restaurants and bars. San Domenico produces its own olive oil and still has an old olive press.
Tenuta Barco di Emera is on the Salento Peninsula near the Ionian Coast. The old farmhouse has been converted into one and two bedroom apartments clustered around the courtyard or you can stay in a room in one of the cottages in the pine wood. Organic vegetables and fruit for use in their excellent restaurant, plus olive oil, and very good wine are produced on the masseria.
Near the small, walled city of Locorotondo, this luxury masseria offers accommodation in the main manor house, which dates to 1645, or in several cute trulli set on the property. The pet-friendly property has a pool, and in the summertime it converts to a yoga retreat, with excellent weeklong programs run by Kaliyoga.
Posta Santa Croce is a family-run masseria with 4 nicely renovated apartments set among olive trees. It's just 10 minutes from the coast near Trani. It's centrally located to visit several interesting places in Puglia and it's a relaxing and comfortable place to return to after a day of sight-seeing. Highly recommended for a real masseria experience.
Masseria Cimino is the upscale guesthouse of the San Domenico golf course, though it's open to non-golfers as well. It's in an 18th century fortified farmhouse and tower on a rustic-looking estate surrounded by wildflowers, cactus, olive groves, and vegetable gardens. There are 15 rooms, a cozy lounge, and restaurant decorated with old farming implements, a swimming pool, and nice outdoor sitting areas. Original architectural features and colors of the house were preserved during restoration.
Masseria Montelauro is two kilometers from the seaside town of Otranto on the Salento Peninsula. The masseria has a swimming pool and a lovely garden, plus plenty of indoor and outdoor sitting areas. An elegant restaurant serves regional fare and spa treatments are available.
Masseria Selvaggi, set in olive groves and vineyards, is 3 kilometers from the town of Manduria. Self-catering accommodations are in both the main house and in trulli. Outside there's a patio, a garden, woods, and a small pool nestled in the rocks.
Masseria Torre Coccoro is a five-star luxury resort with a spa, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a nine-hole golf course, and a private beach. Some rooms and suites have private pools or jacuzzis, fireplaces, sea views, or private terraces or gardens. Torre Coccaro has cooking courses for guests to learn to make typical dishes of Puglia.
Masseria Alchimia has ten self-catering, independent studios with modern furnishings in a fairly isolated setting one kilometer from the town of Fassano. Massages, bike rentals, and use of beach facilities can be arranged. There is a family suite for four and most of the accommodations have a basic kitchenette and terrace or patio.
Updated by Elizabeth Heath