In a landscape of seemingly endless olive groves, vineyards and Mediterranean scrub, Paolo and Maria Grazia Tommasino have lovingly refurbished Masseria Potenti to offer uncommon hospitality and all the simpler pleasures of life in Apulia.
Still the heart of a working farm, the manor house and outbuildings near Manduria, just south of Taranto, date from the 16th century. Arches and alcoves, vaulted ceilings and stone slab flooring, whitewashed walls with many and varied niches – all the ancient irregular features are not just preserved but enhanced. Furnishings come in the same rustic style – apparently artless but beautifully studied – and local ceramics abound.
Guest suites are located in outbuildings, each with the privacy of its own patio or garden.
The agritourism concept encourages getting together to experience activities on the farm. Depending on the season you can try harvesting grapes, olives or other fruit, picking and drying herbs or making preserves; you can see what goes on in the olive press, the winery and the bread kitchen. There are also Mediterranean cookery courses. It’s all about food, and wine, naturally.
Talking of which, breakfasts are huge and everything is not only home-made but largely home-produced. Buffet dinners likewise: gourmet-quality regional dishes, the pride of the Masseria, are eaten at a long communal table, preferably al fresco, to the sounds of the tarantella.
For the rest, Masseria Potenti has a pool, stunning walled gardens and a wellness centre, while sandy beaches are just 5km away and Apulia‘s other attractions within easy reach.