After a few days in Southern Italy I began to adapt to the slow pace of life and became accustomed to my beautiful surroundings. For the final stop of our Puglia tour we drove our little Fiat 500 hire car down to Lecce, for a two night stay at Masseria Trapana.
This boutique hotel took my breath away. When owner Rob Potter-Sanders bought the 16th century farmhouse a few years ago it was in ruins and had been neglected and untouched for over 100 years. After extensive rebuilding and sensitive renovation works, the hotel opened for business in October 2015, complete with the original olive press and the chapel of Santa Barbara, where the old frescoes have been restored.
Masseria Trapana is set amongst sixty hectares of ancient olive groves and has six gardens in the hotel grounds, where fruit and nut trees produce an abundant crop each year. Every corner has been carefully considered, with charming decor and furniture making it a blissful place to walk and spend time in.
There are just ten suites which gives the hotel an intimate and special feel, and there is also the option of renting out the whole masseria exclusively as a private villa, on a weekly basis, for special occasions.
We were extremely comfortable in our very spacious and airy Garden Suite. The design is similar in all the suites, a subtle cream colour scheme with accents of red. All the furniture chosen is of the finest quality, and a luxurious four poster bed is topped with lovely bespoke linen.
A small private garden brings light into the room and also provides the perfect place for a giant bathtub, so you can bathe outdoors beneath your own orange tree, which has the most exquisite floral scent.
The bathroom was a sanctuary of honey-hued stone and indulgent features. Kitted out with a powerful rain shower, dual sinks and chic striped towels. I was more than excited to discover our bathroom stocked with Aesop miniature toiletries – my favourite beauty brand from Australia.
If you decide to spend your days at the hotel, the pool is a lovely place to unwind and soak up the sun. For day excursions there are plenty of charming towns nearby to visit. Lecce is the closest, just a 15 minute drive away, slightly further afield you will find picturesque coastal villages like Gallipoli and Otranto. The helpful staff at Masseria Trapana will help you plan every aspect of your Puglian itinerary so you can make the most of this enchanting area.
Local restaurants can be hit and miss in this area, so after a few nights exploring the culinary options in Lecce you may prefer to enjoy a leisurely dinner at the hotel, where local chef Maria Carla serves up delicious traditional dishes. We enjoyed the flavoursome speciality ‘Trapana’ pasta dish and a perfectly cooked piece of chicken wrapped in parma ham. For dessert, I was delighted to be served panna cotta, one of my all time favourite Italian puddings. Wine from the region is served with dinner, or the waiters will make you an aperitif of your choice.
Breakfast is always served outside, in the dewy morning light beneath the trees. A buffet of continental treats includes traditional pastries, fruit, meats and cheese. Being Australian, Rob caters specially for his guests from down under with lamingtons (sponge cake coated in chocolate and coconut) and vegemite! Don’t miss the fresh juices made from the citrus trees that surround you.
Masseria Trapana is a paradisiacal retreat in the idyllic Puglian landscape… as soon as you’ve visited once you’ll be planning annual return visits to this magical home away from home.
More information and book a stay at Masseria Trapana here.