The “Masseria” is a set of rural buildings used for farms typical of Southern Italy and in particular of Puglia that takes its name from the ‘masserizie’, household goods (furnishings, furniture and tools used by farmers) that were kept inside large stone buildings where peasants, shepherds and owners lived. Some Apulian farmhouses, owned by noblest and rich families, were also fortified and equipped with walls and defensive towers.
Especially in the Valle d’Itria and in the territory of Ostuni, an area traditionally dedicated to agriculture, many farmhouses have survived the time, sometimes in a state of neglect, but increasingly recovered and reused for farmhouse activities, bed & breakfast or as residences in the countryside.
The interest in these buildings has extended not only to other typical buildings of the Apulian rural architecture and culture such as the trulli, other farmhouses and the so-called ‘lamia’, but also to new comfortable and elegant residences, often inspired by the farms of the “Apulia” of the past.
Even these villas and holiday homes are more and more appreciated by the many tourists eager to spend their holidays in Puglia in the sea areas or in the more bucolic and reserved ones, in contact with nature and reliving the lifestyles of the past.
Ostuni is known as the ‘White City’ because of its characteristic historical centre entirely painted with white lime since the Middle Ages, originally for sanitary reasons (lime is a powerful disinfectant) and then to give light to the narrow alleys of the historic centre . It is one of the most renowned centres of Puglia, as well as for its beauty also for its crystal clear sea and the services offered, constantly awarded with the Blue flag and the five sails of Legambiente. Part of the territory of Ostuni falls in the Valle d’Itria, a portion of central Puglia that extends between the towns of Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca; this territory is characterized by the presence of trulli (the typical and exclusive stone houses in the shape of a cone), farmhouses and a unique rural landscape, characterized by the characteristic stone walls built with local stone and bright red soil, typical of southern Puglia. In the territory of Ostuni extends the Parco RegionaleDune Costiere with its many natural habitats, the ancient olive groves, the Trajan way, the archaeological sites of historical-cultural importance, the farms, the underground oil mills, the blades, the rock settlements and the characteristic inhabited centres: a territory that plays a role of environmental protection and sustainable economic development of particular relevance.
Other sites of archaeological or naturalistic interest are the excavations of the ancient city of Egnathia, the protected reserve of Torre Guaceto and the fascinating Valle d’Itria with the picturesque trulli of Alberobello, the baroque architecture of Martina Franca and the caves of Castellana .
Downstream of Ostuni rises, on the blue Adriatic sea, the international village ‘Rosa Marina’, built since the sixties thanks to the intuition of two British entrepreneurs: that territory with a temperate climate and a few kilometers from Ostuni, lent itself perfectly to become the ‘buen retiro’ for many British officials and employees who were retiring , after working for years in the mild-climate British protectorates. The idea took shape and, within a decade, many Englishmen, followed by many Swedes, began to stay with their families throughout the year in Rosa Marina, enjoying the warm sun of Puglia, the lush nature and a simple, tasty and healthy food.
In the 70s the village, immersed in the Mediterranean scrub and fossil dunes falling within the ‘coastal dune park’ and with more than a kilometer of beaches, knew its development with the construction of elegant houses, all strictly white. in pure Mediterranean style. Today the village, which allows access only to owners, renters and guests, has about 1,300 villas, a four-star resort, several restaurants, two supermarkets and has tennis and soccer courts, free wifi and play areas for children.