The approach to Masseria Torre Pinta is through a magnificent baroque archway and it sits amid well-tended gardens, mainly within 2 courtyards and a large terrace. The Masseria boasts a large swimming pool (enclosed in its own courtyard), air conditioning (on request), and contains the owner's eclectic collection of antiques and artwork. All the rooms have vaulted ceilings and ancient limestone floors which, with the meter-thick walls, combine to help keep the house cool in summer. The kitchen, with oak dining table, adjoins the sitting room which is sited in on the ground floor of the original tower. A stone staircase leads to a large furnished west-facing terrace, perfect for sunset cocktails. The large first floor bedroom, complete with four poster bed, has its own study and balcony as well as an en suite shower room. Two of the ground floor bedrooms (1 double + 1 double/twin) open directly onto the main courtyard and one further bedroom (twin), adjoins the sitting room.
Where to find us: Masseria Torre Pinta is 22 kilometres south of Lecce on the Salintino peninsula of Puglia - Italy's most south-easterly region. On a clear day, Albania can be seen from the upper terraces of the Masseria.
Set in ancient olive groves and not far from beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coast (you can just see the sea from the first floor), this handsome Masseria (fortified farmhouse,) was recently restored to a high level. The central part of the building was formerly a Norman Tower dating from the 11th Century and in centuries past it was the home of a Knight of Malta. There are lots of interesting places to explore - Lecce (22K), Otranto (13K), Gallipoli (35K), Santa Cesarea (20K), Alberobello (120K) and there are many excellent restaurants everywhere, including the local small town of Carpignano (3K) and excellent shopping in Lecce, Maglie and Otranto.
Facilities include: Swimming pool (7m x 14m; 1.5m - 2.5m depth) with built-in steps, a ladder and diving board. Washing machines; Dryers; Dishwasher; Microwave, Basic Italian SKY Satellite TV with Sport, DVD; CD Player; iPod doc; internet via satellite/antenna; Built-in Barbecue, Fly Screens (most windows); Air Conditioning (payable locally).
Getting there: The two nearest airports are Brindisi (65K) and Bari (170K). Train Station: Lecce (22K).
What's included: Full cleaning by maid-service on changeover day plus 4 hours cleaning mid week. Laundry change once a week (mid-week change available on request, paid locally). All bed linen, towels and swimming towels. 'Welcome' provisions including two bottles of wine.
Puglia is a wonderful region of Italy which has largely been passed by by the tourist industry. It remains, therefore, delightfully unspoilt and the Pugliese people are wonderfully welcoming and friendly. The centre of nearly every town and village is a largely untouched architectural gem, which is especially true of Lecce, - often called 'the Florence of the south'. Seaside towns such as Otranto and Gallipoli are lively and have numerous excellent seafood restaurants. The beaches have lovely pale gold sand and there is excellent swimming from rocks on the rocky coast south of Otranto (an especially beautiful area).