“There are resorts aplenty in the world, but these (masserias) — which kind of rose in farmland and were carved out of old stone fortified farm houses — have a unique charm that isn’t instantly familiar from anywhere else you have been in the world.” New York Times
Villa Pizzorusso is a historic masseria (fortified farm estate) located on Via Appia Antica — the old Appian Way, which connected Rome to Brindisi — and set amidst olive groves in the southern Italian region of Puglia, the “heel of the boot.” The villa is situated on 15 acres of cultivated farmland (wheat), five minutes from the towns of Mesagne (population 30,000) and Latiano (20,000). Both towns have wine and olive oil coops, butchers, bakeries, cheese shops (mozzarella and ricotta made on the premises daily), local fruit and vegetable vendors, open air markets, cafes, restaurants and all amenities. Mesagne has a medieval castle and a charming historic center accessible through ancient portals.
Villa Pizzorusso had been abandoned for over 50 years, when its restoration began six years ago by its current owners — a Puglia native and an American. Its historical integrity has been preserved and integrated with modern design elements and amenities. The result is a harmonious blend of elegance and history. The oldest sections of Pizzorusso date to the 1500s. The first known record of the property was in 1626 in the Mesagne town register. A villa patronale (owner’s wing), added in the early 1800s — with Moorish and neo-classic design elements including the five cupolas, floor tile work, frescoed ceilings, and grand arched entry and windows — gives Villa Pizzorusso its current character. Pizzorusso, meaning red goatee, was likely the name of the original owner.
Villa Pizzorusso is central to many of Puglia’s top destinations. Within an hour of the villa are: the stunning baroque architecture of Lecce; the white “Greek” city of Ostuni; Martina Franca, which hosts Puglia’s top summer classical music festival; the trulli of Alberobello; the beautiful seaside city of Otranto with its distinctive cathedral containing a spectacular and unusual mosaic floors and shrine of 800 martyrs: the ceramics center of Grottaglie; Castellana Grotte, with perhaps Europe’s most dramatic underground caves; beaches on both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas; and fantastic regional restaurants featuring Puglia’s cucina povera and fresh seafood.
Luxury Villa, on 15 acres in countryside, 5 minutes from the town of Mesagne, available for weekly rental. Restored historic masseria (fortified farm estate) with:
- Accommodation for 12
- 6 bedrooms (all with queen beds, plus additional sofa bed in 2 of the bedrooms)
- 6 baths (4 en suite)
- Pool, 25 meters x 4 meters
- Great Room with fully equipped kitchen, dining table for 14, living area and stereo system
- 3 Fireplaces
- Air conditioning
- Upstairs grand terrace
- Study/media Room with flat screen TV and DVD player
- Walled courtyard of approximately ½ acre w/ outdoor dining table for 14, ancient wood oven, barbeque, vegetable and herb garden and citrus grove.
- Laundry Room
- Maid Service, 2 hours daily (except Sunday) with mid-week towel change
- Private chef, cooking lessons, tour guide, driver and Italian lessons are available at extra charge
- Southern Italy
- Region of Puglia
- Country setting just outside of Mesagne (population 30,000)
- International airports — Brindisi (25 minutes) and Bari (90 minutes)
- Nearest beach, Torre Guaceto (25 minutes)