Who hasn’t ever dreamed of a marvellous escape pulsing to the rhythm of the dolce vita? Between agricultural landscapes, whitewashed villages, and an azure sky, the Puglia region is the secret southern heel of Italy’s boot. Beyond the wild beauty dominated by olive and lemon trees, it’s a rich historic gem where remains of the Triana Way and Byzantine church ruins aren’t uncommon sights on the long winding roads.
Chiara and Pier Luca instantly fell in love with the town of Monopoli, with its cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the old port’s whitewashed walls, and the bright blue fishing boats. Within the centennial olive groves hides Itria Valley, where the couple chose to nestle their haven of peace surrounded by atypical rural constructions: trulli. Since the 16th century, Masseria Capricorno has been the setting for one same story: men and women find a refuge here where they can flourish among the earth, the sun, and their fruits.
With its conic roofs and dry masonry, this majestic building wears its 200-year history as a badge of honour. Completely renovated after an important restoration project, this former farmhouse’s bygone splendour was revived through a modern country design. Using artisanal know-how to create comfortable and convivial spaces, the couple married tradition and contemporary styles in perfect union. This symbiosis is aptly illustrated by the salt-water pool, surrounded by dry stone walls typical of Itria Valley. Heated when necessary, you’ll feel like you’re at Polignano a Mare no matter the season.
Trulli being built flush into stone, the outcrops surrounding the property were intentionally preserved as testimony to the locale’s ancestral history. Stone is omnipresent at Masseria Capricorno: from the facade cladding to the bathroom furniture where it is found in solid blocks in bassins and bathtubs, stone is certainly the soul of the home. To highlight the stone’s millennial spirit, iron and stainless steel were chosen to create a professional and tailor-made kitchen where the delightful smell of rosemary spills out when baking focaccia.
As true interior designers, Chiara and her husband had fun incorporating old and new, for instance pairing a 16th century table seating ten to 12 guests and metal chairs with a golden finish, or decorating with Lucio Garribba’s movement-filled paintings.
These contemporary pieces, chosen by the owners to create an atmosphere at once harmonious and mysterious, are defined by the artist as “windows into the unconscious.” At the Masseria, past and present meet, even in the continued use of age-old techniques: the traditional plaster fireplace, designed to compensate for the thick walls, is a perfect example.
Besides its domed architecture and characteristic stonework, Masseria Capricorno has become an attractive paradise for epicureans seeking authentic art de vivre focused on locally flavoured cuisine. The preservation of ancient rural homes, which have been the beating heart of Italy’s agricultural life for centuries, involves both renovating the old stone walls and protecting local produce grown here.
As in any trullo worth its name, the old wood-burning oven was preserved and sublimated through skillful restoration. This oven, designed with traditional Puglian recipes like braciole in mind, is also fantastic for cooking pizzas. And you can’t discuss Italian gastronomy without mentioning its great wines: let Southern Italy’s best appellations, like Locorotondo, surprise you during a wine tasting at one of the region’s stunning vineyards.
Each window of Masseria Capricorno’s bucolic interior opens on the five beautiful hectares of olive groves that surround it. Ensconced in the wild green of the countryside, the home is ideally positioned to enjoy Puglia’s gentle and sunny air.
Here, ancient olive trees and fruit trees laden with citrus are kept organically; grab a basket and hunt for all of the Mediterranean garden’s delicious treasures. The sweet fragrance of the South will follow you to the magnificent belvedere, where its original balustrades and natural wood will undoubtedly be the perfect setting to savour the fruits from your stroll.
Masseria Capricorno’s garden is as much a trove of treasures as it is the ideal oasis for leisurely rest. Decorative amphorae, lounge chairs, and an infinity pool: Chiara and her husband thought of everything to infuse their comfortable garden with Puglia’s emblematic rural simplicity.
You would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful backdrop against which to perfect your tan and savour your favourite gelato — if you dare, add a drizzle of olive oil as is customary in the region. Enjoy the estate’s organic olive oil for a truly delightful taste!
Wake up early for an outdoor stroll watching the sun’s morning rays peek over the horizon, then, head out to one of the home’s terraces for Puglia’s refreshing caffè leccese. After touring the famous whitewashed Monopoli, head home to savour your private chef’s delicious homemade calzones and admire the rainbow hues that colour summer evenings on the macchia mediterranea. Each sunset behind the peaks that overlook the trulli is assuredly unique.
An enchanted interlude on the road to Puglia, this fiercely authentic and well-preserved summer retreat invites you to enjoy a restful break with family and friends. Allured by the area’s beauty, singularity, and atemporal heritage, Chiara and Pier Luca transformed this old farmhouse into a both modern and bucolic home. At Masseria Capricorno, slow living and a change of scenery go hand in hand.