For Rent: A Revived 16th Century Farmhouse in Puglia  Remodelista 1/20/2015             “Villa Pizzorusso’s charm lies in its combination of sweeping vistas and more intimate nooks.”

Stay: Villa Pizzorusso  9/10/12                                                                “A jaw dropping, absolutely flawless (restoration)… Parts of which date back to the 1500s, the main level, all stone arches, ancient rough-hewn stone floors and star-vaulted ceilings, retains a rustic simplicity despite being filled with pristine, modern furnishings like ivory horse-hair chairs and an extra-long dining room table made with a beautiful slab of buried teak wood from Bali. Ancient ceramics abound, stone-carved stairs have been worn away in the center from use, and most charmingly, an old olive press that was found in the living room when they bought it hangs above the fireplace. Upstairs, an owner’s wing was added in the early 1800s (the noble quarters), and the Moorish and neoclassical architectural details are far more extravagant: smooth colorful tiled floors, the faded remains of pastel frescos across ceilings, ornate wood-carved chandeliers, and beautiful antiques in every room to match. There’s a turret at each corner; once watchtowers, they’ve been turned into closets (and in one case, a shower), and views from every single window are unfathomably beautiful. Red soil, pink light and silvery green leaves, the agricultural landscape unfolds with vineyards, fields of grain and secolari, those magnificent, gnarled hundreds-of-years-old olive trees, planted in perfect pin-straight lines as far as the eye can see.

The place is over-the-top stunning inside and out, but we were happiest outside, and spent 90 percent of our waking hours in the courtyard, cooking in the 500-year-old outdoor oven, eating figs we picked right off the trees, swimming in the extra-long pool running along the fortress wall that flanks the citrus grove. There’s a dining table under a pergola, a hammock under the fig tree, lounge chairs around the pool, an outdoor living room with cushy furniture, and smaller tables with chairs scattered about. For anyone with kids, there cannot be a more perfect spot in all of Italy (the photos don’t begin to do the scale or beauty of the place justice).

Although we fell pretty hard for Puglia, which is garnering a well-deserved reputation as a beautiful, more real/authentic (we didn’t see a single other American traveler) and reasonably priced alternative to Tuscany, it was difficult to leave Villa Pizzorusso to explore. I guess that’s the magic though–you really don’t need to.

Design Fortitude, Rosewood Magazine Summer 2012

From Villas to Vineyards: The Best of Italy Now, Food & Wine September 2012

“Puglia – Good food and great sites” The Times (London) June 18, 2011                        “Stylish places to stay in Puglia …check into a masseria, or fortified farmhouse, many of which have been renovated recently. Villa Pizzorusso is among the best, with a 25m pool in a vast courtyard garden and a Moorish-style pink exterior, in a secluded spot five minutes from Mesagne. Visit in the summer and you’ll spend much of your time in the courtyard with its large shaded terrace. Within, the old stables have been converted into a huge living area, where a minimalist feel prevails, despite the teak dining table that seats 14 and comfy chairs round the fireplace. Some bedrooms have frescoed ceilings or intricate tile work, while others have stone floors and high, vaulted ceilings.”

“A Great Escape in the Heel of the Boot” Lucire Magazine March 2011                               “Villa Pizzo­russo, a six-bedroom rental villa, sits in a private com­pound on its own 15-acre plot, isolat­ed among olive groves. A loving restora­tion–re­generation has trans­formed this eigh­teenth-century proper­ty into a tasteful and secure base, which retains the feel­ing of a country home with the comfort and style of a five-star hotel. For a large family travelling, a corporate group looking for a retreat, or those seeking a truly exclusive experience, this is the place.”

“Just Back From… Puglia” August 2010                                              “Turning off the main road, Villa Pizzorusso, my six-bedroom home for the week, appeared in a flash of pink nestled between fields, vineyards and olive groves. Lovingly restored over three-years by its Italian-American owners, the Villa now features tasteful modern touches and flawless furnishings, which blend seamlessly into the Moorish and neo-classic design. With parts of the house dating to the early 15th century, there are also spectacular original features, including frescoes—one was ‘found’ the week before I arrived—beautiful arched ceilings and stone floors softened by five-centuries of wear. Outside, the long pool is positioned next to an enormous vegetable garden, an aranceto (orange grove) and uneven stonewall, which changes from cream to burning orange as the sun sets. An even better spot at dusk is the enormous rooftop, ideal for cocktails.”

“The 20 Best Villas with Big Pools” The Times (London) January 29, 2011
“Want to do some real swimming? We find the best pools in the Mediterranean… #4 Villa Pizzorusso, Puglia, Italy It’s completely private in the vast courtyard of this stunning pink masseria (fortified farmhouse) near Mesagne, so you can plough up and down the 25m pool in the buff if you want to. The house has stone floors, vaulted ceilings and a shower in a turret, as well as wi-fi and air conditioning. There’s a large covered outside terrace for eating.”


Villa Pizzorusso is a dream come true. Eleven of us stayed comfortably for a week in cool, comfortable bedrooms with luxurious bathrooms. We spent our days swimming in the long pool, eating long meals outdoors in the courtyard. We cooked in the outdoor wood oven and harvested arugula, herbs and radishes from the garden. We walked or drove into Mesagne (via the Appian Way!), though olive groves carpeted with wild flowers to shop for ingredients: a great local butcher with baby lambs, flavorful chickens, fresh cheeses, salume, bright green castelvetrano olives; the wine co-op where there is also local olive oil; a whole street of produce sellers, from trucks and shops; eggs straight from the farm; wood oven baked bread and crunchy Puglian taralli; even an excellent little fish shop.  Some days we rode bikes to the sea through olive trees. On others we visited nearby towns–Otranto and Gallipoli (fabulous fish market and fish restaurant) on the sea; the elegant Lecce; the hill top Ostuni. We ate rustic lunches, mostly of vegetables, in these towns. In nearby Brindisi, also by the sea, we scooped out the orange roe of ricci, sea urchin, before our pizza.  I will come back to Pizzorusso and this particularly beautiful part of Puglia as much as I can. I’ve been all over Italy. This is where I want to be — in this elegant house, surrounded by natural beauty, attended by such warm and generous people.                                                                       — group from U.S. and France, 1-week stay in early summer 2012

“Our stay exceeded expectations. It was idyllic. The villa is both tasteful and stylish in every respect. World-class!”            — group from South Africa, 2-week stay in summer 2011

“Everything about the stay was WONDERFUL!  First moment to the last.  We were all knocked out by the beauty, design, setting and peace of the place and our friends were considering how they were going to come back, next time with THEIR friends and family. I love it here. Oh boy! and Wow!”                                                                                                — group from San Francisco, 1-week stay in late spring 2011

“5 stars (out of 5). The villa was absolutely fantastic. In fact, it exceeded our expectations! And our friends fell so in love with Puglia they would like to consider buying something there.”                        — group from New York, 1-week stay in summer 2011

“We are enjoying our last meal in Puglia but sad to have to leave tomorrow morning. We had a fabulous time in your house. It is so nice that we hardly visited Puglia, instead we relaxed around the pool, enjoying long meals and resting! We must come back another time! We love Villa Pizzorusso and how you have preserved it. Every single piece of decoration is adding plenty of charm and your house has a real character, making it a dream that we have been very pleased to temporarily share with you.”                                                                          — family from Paris, 2-week stay in summer 2010

“’Fabulous’ captures it for us all — it was a most wonderful week.  Everyone loved the villa.  The grounds in their natural splendor were beautiful, the pool inviting, the ambience lovely, the location was perfect in terms of access, touring and setting, and the layout with both great community areas and opportunities for privacy were appreciated.  We all loved the unusual and beautiful dining room table”                                                                                  — group from Berkeley, California, 1-week stay in late spring 2010


PUGLIA PRESS (click on publication to read article)

“The Heel is Rising” New York Times

“Puglia: Italy’s heel has it all, except tourists” USA Today

“Southern Italy’s Adriatic boot, Puglia” Los Angeles Times

“Something New Under The Sun” Conde Nast Traveler

“Puglia’s Fiery Pizzica” Wall Street Journal

“Puglia has some of the brightest seas, most diverse art and architecture, most mouthwatering peasant cuisine and kindest people in all of Italy.” USA Today


Torre Guaceto beach, 25 minutes from Villa Pizzorusso