Best hotels in Puglia
There is the most amazing authentic Puglian breakfast at the AgricolaMonte: fresh cured ham, scrambled eggs from the chickens you can hear clucking across the driveway, sticky honey from the hives at the end of the garden and jams, the result of the previous season’s orchard leftovers. In the little shop, stock up on just-plucked-from-the-field vegetables, courgettes, broccoli, leafy cabbages and sweet tomatoes, plus dried fava beans and lentils, and aromatic green olive oil from the groves all around, labelled with the date it was pressed. All this is a five-minute stroll through immaculate farm land from Masseria Alchimia, Swiss owner Caroline Groszer’s labour of love. She has transformed the whitewashed masseria, creating a handful of absurdly well-priced apartments, perfect boltholes for summer stays.
Inside, Groszer’s aesthetic is considered and crisp – wishbone chairs and retro lights, bespoke glass art and private terraces with Acapulco chairs for catching the last of the afternoon sun.Rooms come with kitchenettes (pastel coloured Smeg toasters, a proper coffee pot, with fresh ground beans ready to use, a little hob) so that you can whip up the spoils from the farm into a light supper. Gardens include rows of plum trees, a wall of tumbling cacti, a towering palm – the emblem of the Masseria – and a sweet set of swings and a slide. Come for a night or two on your way north or south, or, like lots of the guests, stay for a fortnight (there’s plenty of cupboard space and hangers) and use the apartments as a base to dip into nearby Puglian hits Poligno al Mare, Monopoli and Alverobello. There’s also a townhouse in nearby Fasano and a penthouse apartment overlooking Ostuni’s cathedral spires. And if you like Groszer’s style, you can check out her ski chalet in Andermatt too.