There are few places in Europe that have a package as complete as Italy.
Culture, beautiful art, oodles of ancient history and architecture, amazing fashion, unashamedly passionate (sometimes a little over keen) men and, of course, rather incredible food.
Thinking of top places to visit in Italy, it is so easy to be lured in by the better known tourist hotspots of the north and overlook the rolling hills, unspilt countryside and Mediterranean charm of the south, but you would certainly be missing a trick!
On the southern-east heel of Italy’s boot is Puglia, the region bordering the Adriatic sea. It is a place known for its exquisite olive oil, coastal towns and seascapes. It is also home to many hidden beaches, ruins and restaurants. Undoubtedly a place worth exploring, away from the buzz away from the tourism beehive.
Every year my family and I take a trip to Italy. Usually to the seaside in Liguria, or hit up the vineyards in the Umbria region. As of yet the south of Italy has been rather foreign to me and a place I had longed to explore a little. So when the wonderful Jori White and her team invited me and a handful of foodies and journalists along, for a trip to the south, I jumped, pronto, at the chance.
We were staying in the newly renovated Masseria Petrarolo an old farmhouse, in the heart of 30 hectare of olives. Just an hour drive away from Bari airport.
The farmhouse is a project of Alexander Waterworth (the interior designer of Soho House) and is one of the most beautiful farmhouses I have ever stayed in. The place has a real coziness, despite its lavish interiors and architecture. I rather quickly felt quite at home. A week here would have sailed by in the summer months, lounging by the pool and taking day trips into Lecce, for a gelato.
Ever the one to suffer from the cold, naturally I was a-ok with having a whacking great bath in the centre of my bedroom. The perfect place for a moment of relaxation with a glass of local red wine.
The spread for breakfast was amazing. Wafer thin pancetta, unbeatable eggs and roasted, sweet cherry tomatoes to line our tummies for a day of exploration.
I don’t say this lightly but the scrambled eggs may have been the best I have ever eaten… light and fluffy and the most vibrant yellow. Watch out Granger & Co, this is serious competition!
These are all a selection of photos taken in the grounds of the farmhouse, the orangerie, a cup of tea with a view of the courtyard and from our day trip exploring Lecce. For more photos and information about Masseria Petrarolo check out the website here.
Hungry bunnies, do pop on back tomorrow for a bit of spa action and a nibble of more delicious Italian food. This is just the antipasti blog post, there is lots more to tempt those tastebuds in case you aren’t already booking your flights for a visit already.
Also, do let me know if you have any recommendations for hidden gems in Puglia. I am planning a family holiday back this summer and would love to a few new spots to explore. Masseria Petrarolo you haven’t seen the last of me!