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At first glance, Masseria Dagilupi stands out against the dazzling whiteness of nearby Ostuni. The town was destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic wars, then rebuilt by the Greeks. This old farmhouse cultivates the art of "temps long" and extreme simplicity. Elegance and comfort are brought to the forefront by the minimalist spirit so as to better emphasise the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The olive trees in particular have been elevated to the rank of works of art. This small estate leaves nothing to be desired, even the clear waters of the sea are just moments away.
For us, Puglia is the most authentic, welcoming and exciting example of what Italy has to offer. We are French and quite naturally chose to settle here in 2017. Beyond the trullis, the authenticity can be found in popular culture, the gastronomy and local expertise. The slow-food movement began here and the Apulians take the products they consume very seriously. Traditions are still alive here and we celebrate the patron saints, these events are important for families and they gather in the centre of the town to enjoy panzerotti together and strut about. Rich in natural and architectural treasures, Puglia has escaped the destructive folly of endless industrialisation and modernism. Freshness is found in the narrow alleyways and centres of white, hilltop towns or in the shade of the Baroque palaces.
Masseria Dagilupi is, as the name suggests, a farm whose sole activity was the production of olive oil. It is surrounded by olive trees between the Adriatic sea and Ostuni, in an olive grove of four hundred trees - one hundred of which are a thousand years old. The restoration of the building preserved all the architectural and historical features, including the oil mill in the cellar that was hand-carved from rock. The oldest of the six oil presses has characteristics dating back to the end of the Messapian period, 6th century AD The other five presses are from the Middle Ages. Attached to the mill is a 300m2 building that houses the functional spaces and living rooms. At the back of the building, a courtyard surrounded by high, dry stone walls that protect it from the sea breeze is where we now serve breakfast.
The Masseria Dagilupi was formerly known as Trappeto Lettiga. A trappeto is an underground oil mill. The earliest known citation of the Trappeto Lettiga is found in the 1578 census of Brindisi province. It says that the owner was Ludovico Farina, a 45 year old militia knight tasked with defending the city of Ostuni. In 1601, Trappeto Lettiga belonged to the abbot Giovani Lercario, but it disappeared from inheritance when he died in 1621. What happened next is unknown, but the mill continued to work without interruption until the middle of the 19th century, producing a lampante oil sold for public lighting (in London in particular). Public gas lighting marked the end of lamp oil production and attentions turned to a higher quality consumer oil produced in modern mills. Trapetto Lettiga was no longer a warehouse of agricultural products and equipment when it was used as a hiding place for contraband cigarettes at the end of the Second World War. We are, after all, just four kilometres from the sea and well hidden among the olive trees! In 2017, we decided to buy the olive grove and the building to turn it into a guest house and rename the place. The term Lettiga, meaning "litter", was no longer in keeping with the experience we wanted to offer our guests.
Ostuni, on the border between the southern Itria Valley and northern Salento, is the ideal holiday destination for those who are keen to discover Puglia. Protected from the summer frenzy by its olive grove, Masseria Dagilupi is an oasis of peace and quiet in the heart of Puglia, close to all the tourist attractions, both cultural and gastronomic Our bathrooms are spacious and our rooms are large, equipped with bedding of a very high quality. We offer a rich, sweet and savoury breakfast made from local products that vary from day to day. We help guests to choose restaurants and activities to ensure their stay here is an unforgettable experience. And we of course share the extra virgin olive oil from our olive trees.
We buy our dairy products from Caseificio Lanzilotti in San Vito dei Normanni and our meat from Carone in Mesagne. The shop alone is worth a visit and when the boss Nicola or her brother talk about their meat, they transport you to another world. Our favourite seafood restaurant is Alba Chiara by the water in the port of Savelletri. Il Cortiletto in Speziale serves seasonal cuisine, the antipasti selection is exceptional and their chicken is the best we have ever eaten. Dish in Ostuni serves food made with local products from both the land and sea, their risotto and seafood guazetto are incomparable. Bro's in Lecce and Angelo Sabatelli in Putignano serve food with "extraterritorial" emotions. Stroll through the white towns of the Itria Valley: Cisternino, Locorotondo, Alberobello and its trullis, or the famous ports of Polignano a Mare and Monopoli. Last but not least, and just a stone's throw away, you will find the crystalline water and rocky coves of the Adriatic coast and the Torre Guaceto WWF nature reserve.
The whole property is available for filming and photo shoots. The olive grove is typical of the region with thousand-year-old olive trees, red earth, dry stone walls; the building has vaulted rooms and whitewashed stone walls. The same building can accommodate six people and there are other options nearby.