We are staying at Masseria Trapanà, a restored medieval masseria that was once a fortified farmhouse. It’s located a few miles out of Lecce and set amongst sixty hectares of olive groves. Inside the dry-stone walls, it’s an oasis of cool, with manicured gardens and a carpet of green grass miraculously thriving in the shade of an orchard of citrus trees.O ver the last couple of years, the property has been painstakingly restored and decorated with impeccable taste by Australian expat Rob Potter-Sanders. (I know of only two others who could have conceived such a tasteful, comfortable establishment, with services to match. My old friend, the late David Michôd, and the omnipresent Edmundo.) The unflappable general manager of the masseria, Giuseppe, is there too keeping the operation quietly ticking-over – leaving us to live without a care in the world.
We’re very comfortable here from the outset, but an invasive sense of freedom, after the frustrating wasted morning trying to visit Lecce, seals it for us. Any future sightseeing will be considered only as an adjunct to relaxing in the confines of the masseria!
There’s ne’er a thought to get in the car and drive to town in the evenings for dinner either. We are content to ‘stay home’, turning-up at 8.30pm outdoors under the citrus trees for a four course dinner of simple regional cuisine of the chef’s choosing – and for the princely sum of Euro 35. The enthusiastic, ever-smiling Giorgio, Gian-Marco, and Marco serve the drinks and dance attendance on all the guests – as usual.
T he public areas and guest rooms are simple and contemporary but retain the limestone characteristics of the region including barrel-vaulted ceilings. Light streams into the expansive sitting areas from huge floor to ceiling windows inviting to kick-back comfortably in oversize comfy sofas with a book, or a glass. Who could want for anything more?
‘Kicking-back’ is a luxury. We all reach a point where simply being comfortable in our surroundings is more gratifying than constantly being ‘on the go’.