Ancient family home exquisitely converted into a luxury country residence in the verdant hills of Puglia.
Location and Surrounding Area. The local town of Ceglie Messapica is one of the earliest remaining settlements in the area, dating back to the ‘Messapi’ civilisation more the 700 years before Christ. Today it has 20,000 inhabitants, but in ancient times it is thought to have been home to more than double that figure. The town is in a particularly interesting position, on a hillside overlooking the southern end of the Valle d’Itri and surrounded by caves and farmland including secular olive trees and dotted with the traditional conical ‘trullo’ buildings. The town boasts a stunning historical centre full of tiny alleyways running up and down among whitewashed buildings, little squares with cafés and an unusually high number of top quality restaurants. At the highest point of the town and dominating the old ‘borgo’ stands the fascinating ‘Castello Ducale’, a medieval fortress that is testimony to the town’s important and chequered past.
A mere 11km from Ceglie, the ‘città bianca’ (white city) of Ostuni is one of the main tourist attractions in Puglia. The town is thought to have been an inhabited area since Stone Age times, and its past is evident in its magnificent monuments such as its ancient defence walls, the Cathedral, the countless aristocratic ‘palazzi’ and the Museum of pre-classical civilisations. The city walls also host the annual ‘Sagra degli Altri Tempi’ – a summer festival where you can admire traditional costumes and music, taste local dishes and observe the local artisans at their trade.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alberobello, is the most characteristic town in the area for the unique form of architecture known as ‘trulli’. These dry-stone round houses with conical slate roofs dominate the entire historical centre of the town, making it a unique experience for anyone with a passion for unusual architecture. Despite its small population of only 10,000, Alberobello is a vibrant place offering plenty of places to visit, good quality restaurants and a series of events in the springtime and summer, including free concerts and open-air theatre.
There are countless other places of interest to visit in the surrounding area – from the charming towns of Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Cisternino, Monopoli and Polignano a Mare, to the stunning natural caves of Castellana Grotte, the mysterious ‘Castel del Monte’ castle, and the verdant Valle d’Itria.
The Property. Masseria La Grotta is an ancient property dating back to 1300, which was originally constructed as a chapel and later transformed into an aristocratic residence. The house sleeps eight to ten guests in four bedrooms and is tastefully furnished in a mixture of styles, from antique to modern. It offers ample living space, all the modern fittings necessary to guarantee absolute comfort and a stunning outdoor area with terraces, a pool and dining facilities. The position of the property is particularly advantageous – secluded among 5 acres of olive and almond trees and yet very close to the vibrant little town of Ceglie Messapica and the fine beaches of the ‘Salento’ area of Puglia.
The Masseria has four bedrooms, three of which are on the ground floor and have en-suite bathrooms. The first bedroom is a suite with king-size bed and a bathroom with a beautiful stone bath for two, a circular shower and double washbasins. There are two double rooms with vaulted ceilings and en-suite bathrooms with showers and stone washbasins. The fourth ‘Tower’ bedroom on the first floor has twin beds and a vaulted ceiling. There is a furtherlarge bathroom by the rear reception room with a shower and stone washbasin.
The stone-vaulted kitchen is fully equipped with a large sink, a gas cooker, large fridge/freezer, dishwasher and a microwave; and is conveniently located next to the dining room.There is also a utility room with a washing machine and iron.
Masseria La Grotta provides ample space for 8-10 guests. There is a large stone-vaulted sitting room with a sofa and a flat screen TV/DVD player; a reception room with sofa and fireplace and a rear reception area with stairs leading to the twin bedroom and terraces. The 'cantina' is a stunning large stone vaulted 10m-long room with a dining table seating up to 10 people and patio doors leading to the outdoor area. The kitchen and shaded veranda are directly connected to the cantina. The beautiful 13 m x 6 m pool is set on a large paved area including tented cabanas for relaxing. The covered veranda provides alfresco dining near the house with seating for up to eight. The garden is characterised by an abundance of fragrant Mediterranean plants, including fruit trees and herbs, which can be enjoyed by guests, and also boasts a natural grotto made from a large 60-metre deep limestone cave with stone steps. Once used as a church by Byzantine monks, it is a listed historical monument with frescoes dating back to the 8th century painted on its walls.
Getting There: The international airport of Brindisi is a 40 m drive, and that of Bari an 80 m drive. Ostuni – 11 km, the Adriatic coast - 19 km, Alberobello – 33 km, Monopoli – 38 km, Lecce – 90 km.
|* Please note: the included amenities may vary according to final agreement, make sure to check your contract for complete list.|
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