The traditional masserie in Apulia are fortified farmhouses that originated in the 16th century and have been converted into charming accommodations for tourists.

The history of the traditional Apulian mansions

The Apulian manors are unique and typical for the Southern Italian region. Once, they represented the lordly version of the rural architecture in the 16th century. The construction of the premises can be traced back to the late Roman Empire. The fortress-like country estates were in the hands of the aristocracy for hundreds of years and were characterized by strict feudalism, the “Mezzadria.”

The large premises of 200ha and more were mainly used for agriculture and cattle breeding. Many farm workers (contadini) and day laborers (braccianti) worked on the estate, and until today, many farming businesses are part of this tradition. The whole complex included a main residence with an elegant living area for the “Massaro”, the squire, and some modest auxiliary buildings for the farm workers, the cattle and equipment. Sometimes there was a church on the premises, too.

Due to looting and attacks by pirates, many of the Masserie were fortified with towers and defence facilities, and looked more like a fortress than a farmstead. Today, you will find numerous Masserie in the Valle d’Itria, in the hinterland of Bari, Taranto and Brindisi, especially in the rural areas of Ostuni and Lecce. Many of the premises were expensively restored and today, they open their doors for tourists and visitors as lovingly designed holiday resorts.

The “Masserie” today – a wonderful combination of modernism and tradition

They practice a very special form of Italian hospitality, as they perfectly combine century old traditions with the modern ages! They are surrounded by beautiful olive groves in the interior of the region, but always near to one of the 800km long coastline of Apulia.

For many vacationer, they are the perfect base for a holiday in Apulia. In the lovely Valle d’Itria, you will find a special architecture of the traditional Masserie: In the realms of the Trulli houses, it is good form to spend your holiday in one of the magnificent Trulli estates!

Booking and further information

Enjoy the Apulian hospitality in a traditional Masseria! We will be pleased to submit a custom-made offer for your group tour to Italy. We are looking forward to your no-obligation request via e-mail, our contact form or phone +49 611 945879-42!

Apulia is diverse. Choice is yours.

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