When Claudia called to invite us to yet another springtime First Communion, I was already finding excuses in my head… Living in southern Italy and having kids of 11 and 9 means allocating at least two Sundays a month from April to June for this kind of ceremony and the mandatory reception to follow. Well this one was different. Probably because Claudia is the most stylish woman I know. In fact, lunch was a shabby-chic affair, of the kind that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of an Elle Decor shoot, at stunning Masseria Cimino. The Masseria is part of the San Domenico group, which started with the Masseria San Domenico and the golf course, then extended to Borgo Egnazia (location for the Timberlake – Biel wedding last autumn) and lately left Apulia way behind for a townhouse boutique hotel in Chelsea, London.
Masseria Cimino is the smallest of the luxury boutique properties, practically on the superb 18-hole San Domenico links and defined, with admirable restraint, as its guest house. Another 18th-century fortified manor house just metres from the Adriatic shoreline, it has 15 rooms and is exquisitely done out in Apulian rustic style. Tomatoes hang from the restaurant ceiling, and rusty farm memorabilia decorate the whitewashed walls in the bar, lounge and dining areas. It has its own pool, and spa facilities are those of nearby Borgo Egnazia. As an alternative, there’s the simplest of rugged, rocky beaches in Savelletri. We had a really wonderful day, though my son Francesco was not happy as the only boy at the party with a dozen or so girls. Because he’s 9. Just wait a while, Francesco… Thanks again, Claudia and Giuseppe! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us for your 40th next month!